Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras briefed Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Ieronymos II on Thursday about the ongoing talks with FYROM over the name dispute starting with Wednesday’s talks between UN Secretary-General’s personal envoy Matthew Nimetz and the representatives of Greece and FYROM in New York.
On his part the Archbishop called for for consensus, communication and national unity and said there was no need for protest rallies and expressed confidence in the government concerning the handling of this issue.
The Greek PM reiterated his respect for the positions and concerns of the Greek Church on the issue and called on Ieronymos to promote an atmosphere of national unity and responsibility without vociferous reactions and pointless confrontations, according to the press release.
Tsipras also expressed an interest on the ecclesiastical element of the issue concerning the name of the Church in the neighbouring country and assured the Archbishop he will keep him informed about any developments.
The Greek PM’s move to brief the Archbishop before opposition parties infuriated New Democracy accusing him of “unprecedented irresponsibility” .
“It is now obvious that the Prime Minister puts his petty party aspirations before national interest. Today, he thought it appropriate to inform the Archbishop before the [political] parties, when a few days earlier the Foreign Ministry equated the representatives of the Church with Golden Dawn,” the party said in a press release and criticised the government’s secrecy during the negotiations.