by Aggelos Skordas
Greece’s Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias and four more members of cabinet have received threatening letters in light of the ongoing United Nations-led negotiations with FYROM regarding the later’s name. According to the Greek Minister of Citizen Protection and Public Order Nikos Toskas, his colleague received death threats against him and his family, while as it was later revealed similar letters have been delivered to four more ministries.
Kotzias, who has been elected with ruling SYRIZA, is leading talks on behalf of Greece to settle the naming dispute over the neighbouring country’s name and his stance has been heavily criticised by conservative opposition, extreme right wing groups, the Church of Greece and even MPs of junior coalition partner ANEL (Independent Greeks).
The threatening letter received by the Greek Foreign Minister on Thursday among other reads: “There are three bullets for you.” Toskas characterized the incident as “unacceptable” and stressed that the senders “will soon be held accountable”, while he called the opposition and the Holy Synod of the Greek Church to condemn it. Furthermore, he declared that an investigation has already been ordered.
On his behalf, Kotzias response came via his official twitter account: “For years certain systems, papers and TV channels have been defaming me in order to target me. They are annoyed that no one can hold me back. They are the moral instigators of these threats against my physical integrity and my life. I expect the [main opposition party of] New Democracy and the Holy Synod to condemn them unanimously.”
So far the rest of the ministers who received similar threatening letters have not been named, although Greek. Toskas has indicated that the letters come from certain extreme right circles with the intention to provoke and create tense ahead of Sunday’s rally against the use of the term “Macedonia” by FYROM. According to the rally coordinators’ estimation, more than one million people will attend the rally in central Athens Syntagma Square, while on the same day leftist and anti-establishment groups have planned a counter-demonstration in the Greek capital. Police are on high alert as the tempers are high two days ahead of the two parallel rallies.