The belief that his government will not fall even if Panos Kammenos lifts his trust because of Prespes agreement, Alexis Tsipras said in an interview with the WSJ.
The Greek Prime Minister has stated he is determined to ratify the Prespes agreement and has estimated that the deal will be submitted to the Greek Parliament around March.
He acknowledged that his government partner, Panos Kammenos' ANEL, could leave the government but appeared optimistic:
"My government will survive"
“I think my government will survive, but I don’t know if my coalition will survive, but this is something my coalition partner will decide,” Mr. Tsipras said. in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, adding that his quest is to complete the four-year term.
"My goal is to go to the end," he said on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York. "This is a signal of stability".
"I will not play games, the deal will be ratified in March"
Responding to the speculation that he will postpone the decision for Skopje to come to parliament after the elections, Alexis Tsipras clarified: "I will not play games. The agreement will be ratified in the Greek parliament immediately after the end of the process in "Macedonia", he said, considering that the deal will come to the Greek Parliament around March.
Mr Tsipras expressed his willingness to include the nomenclature into a wider plan to upgrade Greece's geopolitical role in the Balkans, adding that he now wants to support the efforts of the United States and the West in the region - despite the strong anti-American past of SYRIZA.
"Our best strategic ally is the USA"
“If we want to protect our national interest, upgrade the role of the country, and make it part of the solution not part of the problem—as it was three years ago—this mean we should create alliances. And the best strategic ally in the region is the U.S.,” he said.
As the WSJ journalist describes, "Mr. Tsipras, the 44-year old leader of a Greek leftist movement that was once staunchly opposed to American power and NATO, led an unsuccessful revolt against the EU’s austere economic policies in 2015, when Greece nearly tumbled out of the euro."
And he continues: "Now Mr. Tsipras, considered by the U.S. and EU to be an increasingly moderate player, says he wants Greece to support the West’s efforts in the Balkans."
“If we want to protect our national interest, upgrade the role of the country, and make it part of the solution not part of the problem—as it was three years ago—this mean we should create alliances. And the best strategic ally in the region is the U.S.,” said Alexis Tsipras.
The US newspaper notes that the Greece-US approach is also reflected in talks on the expansion of US military bases in the country, a traditional taboo issue for the Greek left.
Referring to the cooling down of Greece's relations with Russia after Athens's decision to expel two Russian diplomats on the grounds that they were trying to undermine the solution of the name issue replied that it was a measure to "protect national interests", adding that it was " very clear message."