Independent Greeks (ANEL) MP Thanassis Papachristopoulos said that the speaker of the House, Nikolaos Voutsis, asked him to postpone his resignation for four to five days. The news comes following a meeting the two men had on Friday.
In a statement to reporters just after his meeting with Voutsis, Papachristopoulos said that the Speaker asked him to remain an MP until the Parliament votes for FYROM‘s accession into NATO next week.
Papachristopoulos said that he accepted the demand of the Speaker, and clarified that he will give up his seat in the Greek parliament immediately after the vote is held, most likely on Thursday, February 7.
“I have promised to resign today. It doesn’t matter though. My personal affairs are less important than the tension that exists here, and I believe that in the coming week this matter will eventually end,” Papachristopoulos told reporters.
The ANEL MP, speaking with ANT1 TV on Thursday, had said in that interview that “I owe this seat to ANEL party and I will give it up tomorrow,” sparking fears that his party will lose its parliamentary-caucus status. This would come about because of the rules regarding the composition of the parliamentary groups in the Greek parliament.
Meanwhile, opposition MPs, commenting on the developments, noted that the ANEL MPs resignation might be moot anyway, as SYRIZA plans to change the rule regarding the composition of parliamentary groups. This would allow ANEL to retain its caucus even after the resignation of Papachristopoulos.