Diplomatic sources dismiss ex-FM’s claims vis-a-vis UN vote on debt

Sources: No instructions given by SYRIZA govt; Eurozone bloc abstained — Kotzias reacted after the vote

Sources from the caretaker government on Friday dismissed high-profile criticism by the former foreign minister, who claimed that the previous Tsipras government had instructed the country’s diplomatic mission at the UN to vote in favor of an Argentine resolution on unmanageable sovereign debts.

Ex-foreign minister Nikos Kotzias, whose most high-profile moment as head of Greece’s diplomatic services was taking the stage at a Turkish resort to sing “We Are the World” with his Turkish counterpart, charged that the caretaker government had “exceeded its authority” by not participating in the vote.

The same sources, from within the ministry, said the last instructions on the resolution were given in 2014 by the then Samaras government, instructing that the Greek delegation should abstain.

Athens reportedly determined that the resolution does not affect Greece, as 70 percent of its sovereign debt is owed to other European partners, the ECB and the IMF, with much of it now amassed through low-interest bailout loans.

Conversely, the resolution before the UN mainly interests developing countries, such as Argentina, with shaky relations vis-a-vis private lenders.

Finally, the sources dismissed Kotzias’ criticism, reminding that the EU, as a bloc, abstained, with only the UK differentiating its stance: it voted against.