While the departure of Nikos Kotzias from the high-profile position of foreign minister is a blow for Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, especially as the key diplomatic achievement of his time in office – the Prespes Agreement on the Macedonia name issue – is at a crucial juncture, it is unlikely that it will lead to any material change to the SYRIZA leader’s political plans.
One of the government’s most high-profile figures, Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias, resigned on Wednesday, forcing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras into another damage limitation exercise when he would prefer the spotlight to be on his government’s latest initiatives on the economic front instead.
After days of mounting tension between SYRIZA and its coalition partner, Independent Greeks (ANEL), Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras attempted on Tuesday to stress the need for unity in the government as Greece enters a decisive period for all political parties.
Among the dominant themes in the upcoming election campaign in Greece will be the state of the country’s institutions and the rule of law, which New Democracy sees as areas where it can score points over SYRIZA.
There seems no end to the friction between Independent Greeks leader Panos Kammenos and his governing partner SYRIZA but, at the same time, there appears little chance of the apparent bad blood causing a sudden and terminal rift in the coalition.
Comments by Defence Minister Panos Kammenos during an official trip to the USA have heaped new pressure on SYRIZA’s increasingly troubled governing alliance with his small nationalist party, Independent Greeks (ANEL).
The potential of the Macedonia name issue affecting political developments in Greece has resurfaced even though it is not yet clear if the Prespes Agreement will reach Greek Parliament.
The government’s handling of island hot spots is set to come under further scrutiny after it was revealed on Monday that the Supreme Court will investigate corruption allegations made by an outgoing official.
New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis has renewed his appeal to non-conservative voters, who could decide the outcome of the next elections to back his party when Greece goes to the polls.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras chaired a hastily-arranged meeting of top government officials on Wednesday after a sharp decline in bank shares on the Athens Stock Exchange led to Greek lenders and their difficulties coming under scrutiny.