Cooperation between SYRIZA and the Independent Greeks (ANEL) in the government coalition will continue until the end, ANEL leader and Defense Minister Panos Kammenos told journalists on Tuesday, after a meeting with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in Maximos Mansion.
The minister said he discussed with Tsipras “the two main reasons why the SYRIZA-ANEL coalition government was set up,” which were to exit the bailout programs and supervision and tackle corruption. “We are pleased to say that we are very close to completing these two goals,” he said.
“For these two goals we set […] this cooperation will continue until the end, despite all those who want to make up scenarios, will continue until the end. With full respect to the red lines and the different political views which we had clearly stated from the beginning as a condition for our cooperation,” he added.
Kammenos said the two coalition partners also discussed developments in talks with FYROM over the country’s name and reiterated his party’s position that it will not accept the use of the term “Macedonia” in any solution.
“Talks on the issue are now in the hands of FYROM, on whether they will accept the constitutional changes,” he said, adding they constitute “an absolute prerequisite”.
Asked about the two Greek soldiers who are held in Turkey after they crossed the border by mistake, the minister said “no matter how much they try to find differences, the Prime Minister and I, as government partners, are perfectly coordinated and, I assure you, always in full agreement.”
Kammenos said this is a bilateral issue which also takes an international dimension after the statements by the EU, NATO and other third countries.
He dismissed reports he might be leaving the government as a “science fiction scenario”, calling the newspaper that published it a “rag” read only “by its publisher and [New Democracy leader Kyriakos] Mr. Mitsotakis.”