Tzifakis: Greek Government will survive vote of confidence and ratify Prespa Agreement

Nikolaos Tzifakis; Photo: BSF 2017/Aleksandar Anđić

ATHENS – According to all indications, the Greek government will survive the vote of confidence on Wednesday and will subsequently ratify the Prespa Agreement, stetes Nikolaos Tzifakis, Associate professor of the University of the Peloponnese and a member of the Balkans in Europe Policy Advisory Group (BiEPAG), for our portal.

He expexts that the Government of Alexis Tsipras will “manage to do so by commanding two different majorities: one majority, in the former case, with the assistance of some ANEL MPs and another, in the latter case, with the support of individual MPs, mostly coming from Potami.”

The vote of confidence was called by the Prime Minister after Panos Kammenos, leader of the Independent Greeks Party (ANEL) resigned as the Minister of Defence and revoked his support for the Government following the adoption of constitutional amendments by the Parliament of Macedonia. The Greek Parliament is now expected to ratify the Prespa Agreement, for which it will need a simple majority of votes.

Paradoxically, the Kammenos-Tsipras split has increased the odds of the agreement’s ratification, emphasises Tzifakis.

“This is because Mr. Kammenos has accepted that ANEL MPs (who are not serving as ministers) will give a vote of confidence to the government without facing any repercussions. As a result, a way was found for Mr. Kammenos to maintain his opposition to the deal, while the government of Mr. Tsipras won’t collapse. This is an arrangement that leaves both Mr. Tsipras and Mr. Kammenos better off”, he states.

Asked what will happen if the Government fails in its attempt to ratify the Prespa Agreement, Tzifakis says that this scenario is hard to predict.

“As far as I know, there is no elaborate ‘Plan B’. I think that all political parties (including those in opposition) have been operating under the assumption that the Agreement will be eventually ratified by the current government”, he concludes.