The row between SYRIZA and New Democracy over the claims made by opposition leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis rumbled on for another day on Thursday as two opinion polls showed a narrower gap between the two parties than other recent surveys.
SYRIZA and New Democracy continued on Wednesday the spat that was sparked by the allegations from opposition leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis in Parliament regarding the Macedonia name deal being the product of an exchange between the government and Greece’s lenders over the pension cuts that were due next year.
The Macedonia name issue continues to dominate the domestic political agenda even thought SYRIZA’s junior coalition partner, Independent Greeks (ANEL), claimed on Tuesday that they have no intention of bringing down the government over this matter.
After months on the fringes of Greece’s political scene, the small centrist party To Potami, is centre stage again due to speculation that it may be re-considering its position on the Macedonia name deal, with potential ramifications for the Prespes Agreement and what alliances will be formed before and after the next elections.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s visit to Moscow last week and the warm remarks made by him and Russian President Vladimir Putin during a press conference that followed their meeting at the Kremlin last Friday means Greek-Russian relations appear to be back on track after last summer’s diplomatic crisis.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was in Moscow to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday but at home, the government and opposition election machinery was picking up speed.
As Greece moves towards the general elections that will take place next year the claims and counter-claims, from SYRIZA and New Democracy in particular, regarding scandals look set to intensify.
New Democracy kept up the pressure over the Macedonia name issue on Wednesday despite attempts by Skopje to row back from comments by Prime Minister Zoran Zaev which were interpreted by some as referring to a so-called “Macedonian” minority in Greece.
The Greek government found itself in an awkward position on Tuesday when New Democracy seized on unconfirmed comments by Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) Prime Minister Zoran Zaev regarding the use of the Macedonian language.
New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis sought to distance his party from the recent spate of sit-ins and protests by school pupils, mostly in northern Greece, in relation to the Macedonia name issue.