Kammenos leaves ruling coalition in Greece ahead of Macedonia name vote

This Word Means Republic of North Macedonia

This Word Means Republic of North Macedonia

Kammenos, whose Independent Greeks party props up the government of Alexis Tsipras, has long opposed the accord with neighbouring Macedonia signed by their governments previous year.

At this point, unless early elections are called, New Democracy's only option has been to request a no-confidence vote in parliament, something that was tried and failed past year.

A spokesperson for the governing Social Democrats said the ethnic Albanian legislators also agreed to back the deal.

The two countries struck the deal on the new name in June a year ago, but Macedonia will start using it only after the parliament in Athens also approves the change.

But in an unexpectedly bold move aimed at salvaging his own political career, Kammenos stated he would also withdraw six other ANEL party ministers, many of whom hold deputy minister posts, from their current coalition government slots, but would not order them to vote his way in any no-confidence vote in the government.

Addressing reporters later on Sunday, Tsipras said he accepted the resignation of Kammenos, adding that he will continue to push forward with agreement, which needs 151 votes to be ratified in the Parliament.

The investigation, according to judicial sources, is looking into whether personal data was violated as part of the probe.

European Union preparing to delay Brexit until at least July
British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Sunday that a failure to support her Brexit deal will be catastrophic for Britain. Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt also said that Brexit may not happen if the deal can't pass the Parliament.

Kammenos has called the deal a national sell-out and had repeatedly threatened to leave if it came before the Greek parliament for ratification. "But I am convinced that the Greek parliament will also find the strength to make the decision", Zaev told a press conference in Skopje. Greek parliamentary endorsement of the name is required for the tiny Balkan nation to join the European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

"The United States sees this as a historic opportunity to advance stability, security and prosperity throughout the region", Pompeo said in a statement released from Washington. In one weird case, it can mean membership in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

Zaev, who came to power in May 2017, is now looking to his Greek counterpart Alexis Tsipras to uphold his end of the deal, which the pair brokered previous year.

Greek nationalists argue that the name "Macedonia" can only refer to the Greek province of the same name. It began almost three decades ago, with Macedonia's declaration of independence, but has roots dating back centuries.

For the Greeks, Macedonia is the name of a history-rich northern province that was the cradle of Alexander the Great's ancient empire.

Greece has long demanded Skopje change its country name to remove what Athens considered to be an implied claim to Greek sovereign territory.

Last June, Zaev and Tsipras reached a landmark compromise over the name dispute.

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