Greek prime minister leaves hospital

Greece’s new prime minister was released from hospital on Monday, two days after undergoing eye surgery that will prevent him from traveling to a European Union summit in Brussels this week.

By Elena Becatoros (AP)

Published: Mon 25 Jun 2012, 7:29 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 11:45 AM

The Brussels meeting comes just a week after Greece’s new coalition government was formed following months of political turmoil and two inconclusive national elections. It was to have been a key test of Greece’s hopes of renegotiating some of the austerity measures taken in return for its international bailout, under which it has received billions of euros in rescue loans from the International Monetary Fund and other European Union countries that use the euro.

The country’s incoming finance minister, meanwhile, remains hospitalised after collapsing last week, before he could be sworn in. The ill-health that struck the top echelons of the country’s new government forced the postponement of a visit to Athens by the country’s international debt inspectors, known as the Troika — representatives from the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said that because the Troika needs to first travel to Athens to determine where things stand with Greece’s reform program and then inform the EU, it would be premature to expect any new decisions at the June 28-29 summit.

“That’s why we don’t expect any sort of a resolution at the EU council on Greece,” he said.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras underwent an operation to repair a detached retina on Saturday morning, and his doctors have said he will have to remain at home for several days to recover, although he can accept visits.

The designated finance minister, Vassilis Rapanos, was hospitalised on Friday suffering from intense abdominal pain, dizziness, weakness and nausea, hours before he was due to be sworn in to office. The hospital said over the weekend that his condition was improving, but it has given no details about what he is suffering from. He underwent further tests on Monday, and state NET television said he was expected to be released by Tuesday.

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