Junior party in Greek ruling coalition quitting gov't over Macedonia name deal

Source: Xinhua| 2019-01-13 19:44:45|Editor: Shi Yinglun
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GREECE-POLITICS-GOVERNMENT 

Panos Kammenos (L), outgoing Defense Minister and party leader of the Independent Greeks (ANEL), exits the Maximos Mansion following a meeting with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in Athens, Greece, Jan. 13, 2019. The junior party in Greece's ruling two-partite coalition, the Independent Greeks (ANEL), is quitting the government over the Macedonia name deal, Panos Kammenos said on Sunday. (Xinhua/Marios Lolos)

ATHENS, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- The junior party in Greece's ruling two-partite coalition, the Independent Greeks (ANEL), is quitting the government over the Macedonia name deal, Greek Defense Minister and ANEL leader Panos Kammenos said on Sunday.

Kammenos told Greek national broadcaster ERT and other media about the decision after a meeting with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

He did not clarify whether the right-wing party will continue to support the left SYRIZA party in parliament.

Kammenos is scheduled to hold a press conference later.

Kammenos had repeatedly said in recent months that his party would not vote for the Macedonia name deal, which was due to reach the Greek assembly for a vote later this month.

The Macedonian parliament, in an initial vote, on Friday passed an amendment to the constitution, paving the way to changing the country's name to the Republic of North Macedonia.

Macedonia is also the name of a northern province in Greece. Athens is worried that the use of the same name by the neighboring state could lead to territorial claims.

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