Defense Minister Panos Kammenos today tried to reshuffle the political deck and did an about face on the information that he wants to resign from the ministry and withdraw his party ANEL from the government.
This statement came a little before the ANEL parliamentary group meeting (postponed from Wednesday) and the meeting of Panos Kammenos with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, whether he will continue to support the co-operation or whether he will leave.
In particular, at the joint meeting of the National Defense Committees - Foreign Affairs and Equal Opportunities of the House, regarding the amendment to upgrade the F-16, in terms of Lockheed's commitment, ND announced that it would withdraw from the meeting and discuss these issues with the successor of the Minister of National Defense.
Then the defense minister said: "I am not an outgoing minister, nor do I resign. One can not prejudge the outcome of the vote in Skopje." Mr. Kammenos added that ND's attitude is a shame for the House, Democracy and the Armed Forces. It is noteworthy that the Committees met in the presence of the Armed Forces leadership. Mr Kammenos said he was open for improvements to the amendment, if such a need arises from the debate.
Indeed, a few minutes later, ANEL MP Kostas Katsikis broke in, saying that "New Democracy can not determine until what time a minister will carry out his duties and whether he will be in his post until tomorrow or until the day after, or after a month."
This morning the close associate of Panos Kammenos, and ANEL member, Kostas Katsikis, said "ANEL is finishing from the government today or in the next few days." In particular, speaking on ANT1, Mr. Katsikis once again announced the divorce of the party with SYRIZA and the withdrawal from the government.
Yesterday Kammenos had said to generals at the Defense Ministry "it's the last time I'm here as a minister"
Today's statement by Kammenos is in stark contrast to what he said yesterday at the Defense Council meeting in front of high-ranking officers. Mr Kammenos allegedly said that "it is the last time I am here as a minister," adding that "I will do what I have to do".
This special Defense Council was attended by the Heads of the Armed Forces, the chief of the National Defense General Staff, the National Defense Minister, the Deputy National Defense Minister Panagiotis Rigas and the Deputy Minister of National Defense Maria Kollia-Tsaroucha. Thus, the phrase was interpreted as an expected departure from his ministerial position.
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