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New Greek PM undergoes eye surgery

The surgery came a day after his new finance minister was also taken ill.

Antonis Samaras yesterday
Antonis Samaras yesterday
Image: AP Photo/Kostas Tsironis

NEWLY-ELECTED GREEK PRIME Minister Antonis Samaras underwent eye laser surgery today to remedy a retinal detachment, state television said, an operation that pushed back parliament proceedings.

Government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou told the station that the operation was successful and that Samaras had recovered from the anaesthesia.

Samaras, 61, was forced to cancel a speech to his lawmakers on Friday and the exact date when the new parliament is expected to convene is also unclear.

The incoming finance minister Vassilis Rapanos was also taken ill as Greece prepares to receive a team of auditors from the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank to assess reforms.

Rapanos, 65, was hospitalised on Friday hours before taking his oath of office with strong stomach pains, vertigo and nausea.

The coalition government that emerged from last Sunday’s elections, backed by conservative, socialist and moderate leftist parties, is under intense international pressure to implement the terms of an EU-IMF bailout package that has kept the indebted country’s economy afloat for two years.

Pressure is mounting in view of Monday’s upcoming visit of European Commission, IMF and European Central Bank inspectors, who return to Athens to resume discussions suspended because of Greece’s two-month political deadlock

- © AFP, 2012

Löw Blow! German newspaper wastes no time in having a bailout dig at Greece >

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