Greek defense minister resigns about name change Macedonia
The conservative defense minister, who leads the junior partner in the coalition government of the country, has resigned from the deal on behalf of Macedonia, which he opposes.
Panos Kammenos announced his resignation after a meeting with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Sunday morning.
He said his party would leave the government.
People in Macedonia attend a protest against the change of the name of the country (Boris Grdanoski / AP)
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said in response that he will ask for a vote of confidence in Parliament this week.
He added that he had a "frank discussion & # 39; had with Mr. Kammenos, whom he thanked for his governmental partnership.
Mr. Tsipras also announced that Admiral Evangelos Apostolakis, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will replace Mr. Kammenos as Minister of Defense.
Greece and Macedonia agreed last June on a deal that would change the name of the northern neighbor of Greece in Northern Macedonia.
In return, Greece would lift its objections against the country joining NATO.
The Macedonian Parliament ratified the deal on Friday and the Greek Parliament now needs a majority for its ratification.
The left-wing Syriza party of Mr. Tsipras has 145 deputies in the Greek parliament with 300 members, while the right-populist party of the independent party of Mr. Kammenos has seven.
With the departure of his coalition partner, Mr. Tsipras would need opposition aid to get the deal on behalf of Macedonia.
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