Franco-Greek defense agreement set for ratification on Wednesday

The French-Greek defense deal has cleared the parliamentary committee stage and is expected to be ratified today by the full Parliament after a debate among party leaders.

The ratification is assured, with the parties backing it – ruling conservative New Democracy, socialist KINAL and nationalist Greek Solution – having 179 MPs out of a total 300. At least one of the two independent MPs may also back it.

All left-wing parties – main opposition SYRIZA, the Greek Communist Party and Diem25 – oppose it, but for different reasons. Indeed, a Communist MP, Giorgos Marinos, speaking at the committee, said SYRIZA’s opposition was “hypocritical.”

Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias told the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that Turkish aggression “does not allow the luxury of a negative vote,” without convincing the leftist opposition.

The government and the main opposition appear headed for a clash in Parliament on Wednesday, even though both agree, on principle, with the deal.