September 9, 2018 / 11:11 AM / 14 days ago

Greek deal on Macedonia name won't push early elections, says PM Tsipras

THESSALONIKI (Reuters) - Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Sunday he did not expect the country will be pushed to early elections because of disagreements within his governing coalition over a name deal with neighboring Macedonia.

FILE PHOTO - Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras delivers a speech during the opening of the annual International Trade Fair of Thessaloniki, in Thessaloniki, Greece, September 8, 2018. REUTERS/Costas Baltas

Tsipras said he did not expect that coalition partner and Defence Minister Panos Kammenos, leader of the right-wing Independent Greeks party, would dislodge the economic stability of the country, which just emerged from a bailout.

Athens and Skopje reached a deal in June ending years of acrimony between the two countries over the name of the tiny Balkan state, but it has triggered a furious response from many Greeks.

Kammenos has said he disagreed with the deal, but has shown no inclination of leaving government. The country’s governing coalition is backed by 153 lawmakers in the country’s 300-seat parliament.

Parliamentary elections are scheduled to take place in the autumn of 2019 by the latest.

Reporting by George Georgiopoulos and Renee Maltezou, writing by Michele Kambas

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