Kam­menos strikes again from the US

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Greece’s coali­tion govern­ment ap­pears to be walk­ing a tightrope again fol­low­ing the lat­est round of ac­ri­mony be­tween its two part­ners, left­ist SYRIZA and right-wing na­tion­al­ist In­de­pen­dent Greeks (ANEL).

Ten­sion was fu­eled yes­ter­day af­ter ANEL leader Panos Kam­menos de­fended his pro­posal ear­lier this week for an al­ter­na­tive to the name deal signed be­tween Greece and the Former Yu­goslav Repub­lic of Mace­do­nia (FYROM) and the cre­ation of Amer­i­can bases on the Greek main­land.

Kam­menos said that, as a “a gov­ern­ing part­ner, I sub­mit a pro­posal that only binds me.” Re­fer­ring to US bases on the main­land, he said they are “al­ready op­er­at­ing.”

The ANEL chief also took aim at the SYRIZA-af­fil­i­ated news­pa­per Efimerida ton Syn­tak­ton (Ef­syn), which, he said, falsely re­ported that he had a phone con­ver­sa­tion with Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras. Ef­syn, he said, con­tin­ues to pub­lish false sto­ries.

“I have not talked to the prime min­is­ter be­cause noth­ing has changed with re­gard to what has been agreed,” he said.

Kam­menos also posted a news story that claimed that France and the US have been added to the al­liance Greece and Cyprus has with Egypt and Is­rael.

He added sar­cas­ti­cally that the per­mis­sion of Par­lia­ment Speaker (and SYRIZA mem­ber) Nikos Vout­sis must be se­cured for the ad­di­tion of France and US to the al­liance “as axes an­noy him.”

His com­ments drew a re­sponse from Ship­ping Min­is­ter Fo­tis Kou­velis, who noted that his stance is “not help­ful” for the govern­ment and that “this sit­u­a­tion must not con­tinue.” Mean­while, Nikos Xy­dakis, a par­lia­men­tary spokesper­son for SYRIZA, said Kam­menos’s re­marks do not “serve the coun­try’s cred­i­bil­ity or its long-term in­ter­ests.”

How­ever, ac­cord­ing to govern­ment sources, Tsipras wants the rhetoric with Kam­menos to be toned down and has urged party mem­bers to re­main “calm and col­lected.”

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