Min­istry plays down leak of FYROM let­ter

Af­ter Kotzias lam­basted in Par­lia­ment, of­fi­cial says note fol­lowed up meet­ing

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Af­ter For­eign Min­is­ter Nikos Kotzias came un­der fire in Par­lia­ment late on Fri­day fol­low­ing the leak of a con­fi­den­tial let­ter ask­ing op­po­si­tion par­ties, in­clud­ing the neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn, to ex­press their po­si­tions on the dis­pute over the of­fi­cial name of the Former Yu­goslav Re­pub­lic of Mace­do­nia, a min­istry of­fi­cial played down the mat­ter.

In a re­sponse to jour­nal­ists’ ques- tions, For­eign Min­istry spokesper­son Con­stanti­nos Koutras said Kotzias had sought the views of party of­fi­cials dur­ing a “con­fi­den­tial” meet­ing of the Na­tional Coun­cil on For­eign Pol­icy in July and had fol­lowed up with a let­ter. “Kotzias asked the rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the par­ties in at­ten­dance to send their views re­gard­ing the is­sue of the name of the Former Yu­goslav Re- pub­lic of Mace­do­nia. Given that, as of to­day, there had been no re­sponse... he sent a rel­e­vant let­ter to all of the par­ties, mak­ing the re­minder that their re­sponses on this is­sue are pend­ing,” Koutras said.

The state­ment came af­ter Kotzias faced the wrath of op­po­si­tion MPs fol­low­ing a ref­er­ence to the con­fi­den­tial let­ter in Par­lia­ment by Golden Dawn leader Nikos Michalo­li­akos.

PA­SOK MP An­dreas Lover­dos de­scribed Kotzias’s de­ci­sion to send a let­ter to all op­po­si­tion par­ties, in­clud­ing GD whose MPs are on crim­i­nal trial, as “strange and ex­tremely dan­ger­ous.” New Democ­racy leader Evan­ge­los Meimarakis ac­cused Kotzias of leak­ing the let­ter him­self. Kotzias, for his part, lashed out at his crit­ics for openly dis­cussing a con­fi­den­tial af­fair.

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