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Govt faces no-confidence motion on Macedonia name

Greek gov't passes last bailout measures

14 Jun 2018, 21:27 ( 14 Jun, 2018)

DF-Xinhua Report
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. File Photo Xinhua.

Greece's government passed on Thursday the last set of measures requested by international lenders to conclude the final review of the third Greek bailout program since 2010. However, it faced a no-confidence motion on the Macedonia name issue agreement reached earlier this week.

   With the support of the ruling coalition parties, the parliament plenary approved the latest prerequisites of the final bailout which expires this August.

   A total of 154 MPs approved the measures, while 144 deputies voted against, with 298 parliamentarians participating in the roll call vote, Greek national news agency AMNA reported.

   Greece is exiting the programs after eight tough years of austerity, returns to growth and will soon see a debt relief settlement in return, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said, addressing the assembly.

   Athens expects that tangible results can be achieved as soon as during the upcoming Euro group on June 21.

   As the debate on the last measures ended, a new debate began on Thursday at the Greek parliament.

   The main opposition conservative New Democracy party tabled a no-confidence motion against the government over the Macedonia name issue. A vote was expected to take place this Sunday.

   Opposition parties object to the draft agreement Tsipras and his Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) counterpart Zoran Zaev announced on Tuesday after marathon UN-mediated talks.

   Athens and Skopje have been at odds since 1991 when FYROM declared independence and chose the name Macedonia, which is also the name of a northern Greek province.

   Athens expressed concern from the start that the use of the same name by the neighboring state could lead to territorial claims.

   The two governments agreed that FYROM's new name will be Republic of North Macedonia and constitutional changes will be made to remove references raising concern in Greece.

   The deal which was due to be signed in a ceremony on the borderline in coming days needs the ratification of the two parliaments, and Zaev has called a referendum, but hardliners in both countries reject it.