"The current negotiation on the FYROM name issue is critical," Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Friday after a meeting with Thessaloniki Mayor Yiannis Boutaris, adding that "the government is trying to take something back and not make concessions as previous governments have done."

"The elections will be held in October 2019," he noted.

He explained that the elections will be held after Greece's exit from the memoranda. "I want to have the experience of being the prime minister of a country without surveillance," he said and ruled out the possibility of early elections.

Tsipras visited Boutaris at the Thessaloniki City Hall to express his support for the mayor after the violent assault against him on May 19, when Boutaris attended a Pontian Genocide remembrance event in the city.

"Everything that does not kill you makes you stronger," Tsipras said.

He also pointed out that the mayor's stance has become a symbol and noted that, while some may claim that the attack was coincidental and spontaneous, in fact it was organised and planned in advance.

On his part, Boutaris asked the prime minister to discuss with Digital Policy Minister Nikos Pappas if there is a possibility to stop discussion threads on Facebook that encourage the organisation of violent attacks.