Greece’s prime minister Antonis Samaras, 61, recently underwent emergency eye surgery for a detached retina, a procedure that will keep him away from a critical EU summit being held in Brussels later in the week.
Samaras underwent the four-hour surgery on Saturday, just three days after he was sworn in as the head of Greece’s reorganized three-party coalition government.
The decision to skip the summit came about after Samaras’ doctors ruled out the possibility of travel to Brussels where the EU summit will begin on Thursday.
Heading to the summit in his place will be new Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos.
Reports are also circulating in which Greece’s so-called troika of lenders (the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund) will postpone its visit to the delegation which was planned for Monday. That postponement has not been confirmed by Samras’ office.
Also hospitalized this week was Greece’s incoming finance minister Vassilis Rapanos who suffered a sudden collapse which landed him in the hospital. Because Rapanos was forced to delay the swearing-in process outgoing Finance Minister Giorgos Zanias still holds the regions finance title and will therefore attend the summit. Rapanos’ doctors say he will likely be discharged on Monday evening or Tuesday morning but only after further testing and monitoring have been concluded.
The summit is an important stepping stone for the new Greece government, it is believed officials will attempt to renegotiate at least some of its bailout terms to better serve the country’s future interests.