16012019Headline:

Vernardakis: ND leader should leave his MPs free to vote for the Prespes Agreement

Referring to Independent Greeks (ANEL) leader Panos Kammenos’ stance on the Prespes Agreement, State Minister Christoforos Vernardakis said that Kammenos must clarify whether dogmatism, which drags him to extreme solutions, will make him lift his confidence to the government.

“Kammenos bears the huge responsibility to state his position on this historic 4-year course. I wish that he will carefully decide. In any case we feel very safe, the government will continue its planning because it must meet its targets in the post-memoranda period,” explained the minister underlining that the prime minister will seek for a vote of confidence if the junior party leader lifts it because “this is the democratic roadmap and this is what should be done.”

Referring to the German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to Athens on Thursday and Friday, he reminded that it was scheduled a long time ago clarifying that “the visit has nothing to do with conspiracy theories. She will not come to advise or to press. There is an agreement that defends the interests of the two peoples in FYROM and the Greek side. Europe and international organizations are very keen to advance this cooperation because it smoothes out a source of tension that exists in one critical geopolitical region of the Balkans.

Regarding the agenda, Vernardakis estimated that “we expect the recognition of the country’s efforts and the upgrading of the bilateral relations on the refugees and the migration issue. We believe that at the present historic period, Angela Merkel, despite the fact that she belong to another political and ideological area, has played a very important role in the safeguarding of the main principles of the European solidarity and of the European edifice and has resisted the development of extremist trends in Germany and indirectly in Europe.”

Referring to main opposition New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis, he said that if Mitsotakis is afraid that some of his deputies vote (the Prespes Agreement), I would argue that in the last period he has accepted in his party several deputies which joined ND independently from Potami, the Centrists Union referring to the possibility the Prime Minister asking for a vote of confidence and receiving positive votes from MPs outside the government’s majority.

“The parliament is responsible of deciding if a government has vote of confidence. The deputies are independent people that have and should have free political volition. I would say to Mr. Mitsotakis that if he wants to honour the parliament, he should make an act of courage, for example to leave his deputies free to vote the Prespes Agreement to see what is really happening in the political life of the country and not under conditions of party discipline. Everything else is only for domestic consumption”, Vernardakis said.