Name dispute: Greek foreign minister resigns

Greece's foreign minister Nikos Kotzias has resigned after a row in cabinet over how to solve the name dispute with Macedonia. Apparently he felt that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras wasn't giving him enough backing against Panos Kammenos, the minister of national defence from Syriza's right-wing populist coalition partner who rejects the compromise reached on the name. Was he right to resign?

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The wrong man left in office

For Protagon it's unacceptable that Tsipras failed to give Kotzias the backing he needed:

“It took three years for a minister in this government to act in a normal way, for a minister who felt left in the lurch by the prime minister to step down. That's the right reaction. That's what Nikos Kotzias had to do, and luckily that's what he did. The sad thing is that this resignation has taken place with Defence Minister Panos Kammenos laughing over it. And even sadder is that Alexis Tsipras has become so politically short-sighted. ... Kotzias, who hasn't done anything wrong, has resigned. Kammenos, who has repeatedly disgraced himself [among other things because he rejects the agreement on the name conflict], remains in office.”

Blog Pitsirikos (GR) /

Just a dogsbody for the US

By contrast blogger Pitsirikos points out that since the Greek foreign minister didn't take any independent decisions anyway it's not such a shame that he resigned:

“There's nothing funnier than when the minister of a protectorate resigns and then tries to convey the impression that he's wonderful. ... Kotzias was foreign minister of the protectorate and proud of it. Of course, there was no protectorate with its own foreign policy, but in his eyes that was just a minor detail. What did Kotzias do during his term of office? He served the interests of US foreign policy in all matters. From Skopje to the issues that were important to Israel, Nikos Kotzias was an obedient dog of the United States.”