Greek prime minister to have surgery


Greek prime minister Antonis Samaras will have surgery to correct a detached retina tomorrow and finance minister Vassilios Rapanos was hospitalised after he collapsed in Athens, officials said.

Mr Samaras's condition was discovered today during a routine check-up, his office said in a statement.

Mr Rapanos (65),  was admitted to the Athens Hygeia Hospital with symptoms including severe stomach pains, nausea and exhaustion. His condition is stable and he will remain in the hospital to undergo tests, Athens Hygeia said.

He was due to have been sworn in today. The rest of the cabinet of Greece’s new three-party coalition government was sworn in yesterday.

Originally an academic at Athens University, Mr Rapanos has held various economic, administrative and banking posts under previous Pasok governments and was a close confidante of former prime minister Costas Simitis.

Mr Samaras was sworn in on June 20th as head of the country's new coalition government after his New Democracy party finished first in June 17th elections. A Harvard-trained economist, Mr Samaras has spent his entire professional life in politics. He was elected MP at the age of 26 in 1977, a year after graduating.

A retina can become detached when the thin lining at the back of the eye separates from the blood vessels. Without immediate treatment, the condition can lead to blindness in the affected eye.