The death of a 35-year-old Greek man, Konstantinos Katsifas, who was shot by the Albanian police in southern part of Greece’s neighbouring country last Sunday has provoked concern in Athens and Tirana about a potential deterioration in bilateral relations.
The proposals made by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras regarding the revision of Greece’s constitution have had their desired effect in the sense that the political debate, as well as considerable media attention, has shifted to SYRIZA’s suggestions.
The prospective of a revision of the Greek constitution is back on the political agenda as Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras seeks to strengthen SYRIZA’s progressive credentials and pursue some of its long-held policy goals.
Following the attention given to the pre-trial detention last week of former Defence Minister Yiannos Papantoniou, the government is hoping that by turning the spotlight to more corruption allegations, it will be able to secure political gains.
In the absence of a concrete agreement with the institutions over whether next year’s pre-legislated pension cuts can be cancelled, the domestic political agenda is being taken up by the parties trading accusations over alleged corruption.
Athens was expecting a strong reaction from Ankara to the announcement made on Saturday by former Foreign Minister, Nikos Kotzias about the government’s plans to extend Greece’s territorial waters in the Ionian Sea and some parts of the Aegean to 12 nautical miles from the current six.
The developing legal case against former PASOK minister Yiannos Papantoniou, who was remanded in custody on Tuesday, could have a significant impact on Greek politics ahead of the next elections.
The threats by Defence Minister Panos Kammenos to walk out of the coalition if the Prespes Agreement comes to Greek Parliament appear to have left Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras unperturbed and apparently confident that he can do without his governing partner.
Defence Minister Panos Kammenos has vowed to stick with the government until the Prespes Agreement, ratified by MPs in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) on Friday night, comes to Greek Parliament, although his opposition to the deal means that the coalition is likely to face more turbulence.
Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias’ resignation comes at a very crucial time for Greece’s foreign policy and for the region.