The end of the government of cooperation was announced by the President of the Independent Greeks Panos Kammenos, immediately after his meeting with Prime Minister and government partner Alexis Tsipras.
In his statements, the Greek Prime Minister announced that he would ask for a vote of confidence from Parliament, in order, as he stressed, for the work of the Government to continue. Also, Alexis Tsipras announced that he accepted the resignation of the Minister of National Defence Panos Kammenos and he will be replaced by the Chief of Staff of the Hellenic Armed Forces, Evangelos Apostolakis.
The entire statement of the Greek Prime Minister:
“Panos Kammenos told me today that he resigned as Defence Minister and that he will ask for the other ANEL MPs to do so. I have accepted the resignation of the Minister of Defence, as I will do with and any other resignation.
I have made it clear with my position and attitude that my main aim after leaving the memorandum is to restore the role and the place internationally. To regain the leading role in the Balkans, to ensure that through alliances and the steady course the country is a pillar of stability and security. For me this a national goal.
I have said, that in front of this national goal, in the obvious national benefit and interest, I will not back down, cower, take into account any risk and political cost.
The new Minister of Defence will be the chief of the General Staff of the Hellenic Armed Forces, Admiral Vangelis Apostolakis. This is a clear message that I am not going to risk one minute in the sensitive area of national security, the stability and course we have built.
It is clear, as I have said, clean talk and clear decisions, as I have done in the four years I have been in the position so will I do now.
The Constitution allows me to leave it vague and ambiguous whether there is an absolute majority of MPs who support my efforts to complete a very important project. We have major challenges ahead, restoring regularity, supporting the society, raising minimum wages, protecting the primary residence, strengthening those who can not afford rent, facilitating those with heavy debts and burdens, crucial interventions. We have before us large institutional incisions, the constitutional review that must finally be completed. It is not a luxury for the country to lose another 5 years. We have the great initiative for the church – state relations.
The Constitution allows me to seek for majorities in all these crucial issues. I would have found them, I’m certain. But I have never treaded safely. I never cower in the face of national interest. That is why I have decided and informed the House President that we will go directly to the process of renewing the confidence of the national assembly in the government, in order to proceed with an absolute majority in all the crucial options for the country and for my government to complete its constitutional mandate until October.
In crucial moments we all need to assume our responsibilities. First of all, the members of the government and, of course, every member of the national assembly.
The constitution gives me the possibility. I did not do it in 2015, I will not do it now. I will ask for the confidence of the House to move on to the great incisions that will give breath to society. And everyone with his his own responsibilities”.
Earlier, on his departure from the Maximos Mansion, where the meeting of the two former government partners took place, Panos Kammenos told reporters:
“I met with the Prime Minister. We did a fairly long discussion. It has been a collaboration for four years in a government of national consensus between two parties from different spaces. We took the country out of the memorandums, so the goal was reached. The issue of Macedonia, the name for which thousands fell, does not allow me not to sacrifice this chair. I thanked the Prime Minister for the cooperation and explained to him that for me, for national reasons, this cooperation can not continue. ANEL withdraws from the government”./IBNA