Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras accepted the resignation of Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias on Wednesday and will himself take over the foreign affairs portfolio, Tsipras’s office said.
Earlier, Greek media reported that Kotzias had clashed with Defence Minister Panos Kammenos over a deal that aims to end a decades-old name dispute with neighboring Macedonia.
Kotzias was Athens’ main negotiator in the talks that led to the June accord with Skopje to rename Macedonia. Its fate is now quite uncertain because a referendum in Macedonia on the deal failed spectacularly to reach a minimum turnout threshold to make it constitutionally valid.
Greek media reported on Wednesday that Kotzias and Kammenos had argued during a cabinet meeting on Tuesday.
Greece’s parliament is also meant to ratify the name deal, however this too is up in the air.
As a result, Kotzias has paid the price. And if Greece’s Ministers are simply quitting their posts, it won’t be that simple across the border in Macedonia. The Macedonian public wants their “signatories” in prison.