Greece's Justice Minister Stavros Kontonis, was obliged to withdraw a proposed amendment that would recognize the "Turkish Union of Xanthi" organization, after fierce criticism from the opposition and junior coalition partner, ANEL.
New Democracy, the Democratic Coalition, the Centrists Union, and even junior coalition party Independent Greeks (ANEL), opposed the controversial amendment as irredentist, and dangerous. The amendment challenges a policy that was established in 1986, and was followed by all Greek governments since then. The policy stated that the Greek ethnicity of Western Thrace Muslim Greeks, should not be challenged.
For years, Turkey has been trying to present the Greek Muslim population living in the general Thrace region, and particularly in the city of Xanthi, as a "Turkish minority".