The question is simple. What will happen if the agreement on the FYROM naming issue begins to produce results internationally, some of which may lead to a fait accompli, without the agreement having been ratified by the Greek Parliament in the interim? Some answers may be offered if and when the opposition tables in parliament a no confidence motion against the government.
In the debate, however, yet another question may arise. How can the Independent Greeks party, the junior partner in the ruling coalition, support the government in the no confidence vote that relates to the accord, while at the same time declaring that it will vote down the agreement itself?
How will the circle be squared politically? The question that is raised is whether the government has the democratic legitimisation to sign the agreement, when one of the two ruling coalition partners declares that he will not sign, thus depriving the government of a parliamentary majority.
One answer has already been given. Whatever the coalition partner says, he bears fully the responsibility for the government’s choice. In exercising governmental authority, one cannot shirk the responsibility.
That responsibility must be assumed directly by the partner who pins hopes on the decision of another people, predicting that they will reject the agreement, and expects to be determined by that.
This is not only an issue of democratic responsibility. It is an issue of fundamental political honour