THE GREEK FINANCE Minister has resigned just five days after he was appointed to the post and following his hospitalisation last week.
Vassilis Rapanos was appointed to the finance ministry last Thursday but was subsequently hospitalised the following day after he reportedly fainted, suffering from strong stomach pains, vertigo and nausea.
Rapanos, who is chairman of the country’s National Bank, was due to be sworn in on Friday but his hospitalisation had delayed proceedings and now the Prime Minister’s office says that he will not take up the post.
The government hopes to appoint a new finance minister later today or tomorrow.
A former economics professor who served in the economy ministry when Greece joined the euro in 2001, Rapanos was named finance minister in a conservative led coalition that is likely to seek a revision to the country’s bailout terms.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the 65-year-old was jailed and tortured during Greece’s military dictatorship in the late 60s and early 70s and is a cancer survivor.
The latest development underscores a turbulent few days for Greece’s new administration after Prime Antonis Samaras was also hospitalised over the weekend and was forced to undergo surgery to repair a detached eye retina on Saturday.
Though he is expected to make a full recovery Samaras will now be unable to attend a crucial EU summit in Brussels on Thursday and Friday, his office said.
Instead the leader of the New Democracy party will have a telephone conversations with his EU counterparts as they seek to discuss measures to address the ongoing eurozone crisis.