Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras was released from hospital yesterday, two days after undergoing eye surgery that will prevent him from traveling to an EU summit in Brussels this week.
The meeting will be critical for Greece, coming just a week after its new coalition government was formed following months of political turmoil and two inconclusive national elections.
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.
Meanwhile, new Greek Minister of Finance Vassilis Rapanos was still in hospital after being admitted on Friday last week following a collapse 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.
The ill-health that struck the top echelons of Greece’s new coalition government just two days after it was formed has led to the postponement of a visit to Athens yesterday by the heads of the county’s debt inspectors known as the Troika: the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF.
“First, our concern is for the health of the prime minister and finance minister,” European Commission spokesman Amadeu Altafaj Tardio said in Brussels. “They have a very long road ahead.”
He said the Troika would head to Greece “as soon as possible. Both sides are interested in carrying out this assessment as soon as possible.”
Samaras has appointed Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs Dimitris Avramopoulos to lead the Greek delegation at the summit on Thursday and Friday.
Altafaj Tardio said “Greece has to face its financial obligations,” adding that before any further funds can be disbursed, “there has to be a thorough analysis.”
“It’s no secret that there have been delays in several areas of implementation,” he said.
Once the Troika arrives in Athens, its review will figure out “how we can get Greece back on track.”