Greek PM Bails on EU Summit After Eye Surgery

Antonis Samaras underwent 4-hour operation for detached retina
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 24, 2012 11:41 AM CDT
Greek PM Bails on EU Summit After Eye Surgery
Greek conservative leader Antonis Samaras takes part in a swearing in ceremony at the presidential palace in Athens, in this Thursday, June 21, 2012 file photo.   (Petros Giannakouris)

Greece's new prime minister will not be well enough to travel to a critical EU summit in Brussels after undergoing an eye operation, the government said today. Antonis Samaras, 61, underwent surgery for a detached retina for nearly four hours yesterday, just three days after being sworn in at the head of a three-party coalition government. The doctor treating Samaras has ruled out him being able to travel to Brussels for the EU summit beginning Thursday.

Samaras has appointed new Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos to head the Greek delegation at the meeting. Reports that the troika of Greece's lenders—the European Commission, European Central Bank and the IMF—will postpone its visit, planned for tomorrow, were not confirmed by Samaras' office. An EC spokesman said troika staff "will be moving to Athens starting (tomorrow)." Greece's incoming finance minister, Vassilis Rapanos, was also hospitalized Friday after suffering a collapse. But because his swearing-in had to be postponed, outgoing Finance Minister Giorgos Zanias still holds the title and will attend the summit. (More Greece stories.)

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