Greece's New Finance Minister Hospitalized

By: CBS News, Posted by Chelsey Moran
By: CBS News, Posted by Chelsey Moran

(AP) ATHENS, Greece - Greece's new finance minister was rushed to the hospital Friday hours after officials announced the debt-struck country's new prime minister was to undergo eye surgery for a detached retina.

Vassilis Rapanos, 65, was admitted to a private hospital in Athens complaining of intense abdominal pain, nausea, dizziness, sweating and weakness, the hospital said in a statement. His condition had stabilized and he was to undergo further tests to determine the cause of his condition, it added. Rapanos was expected to remain in hospital overnight.

His swearing-in, which had been scheduled for Friday evening, was postponed. The Cabinet of Greece's new three-party coalition government was sworn in on Thursday, but the ceremony for Rapanos had been delayed to allow outgoing Finance Minister Giorgos Zanias to represent Greece at a Eurozone finance ministers' meeting in Luxembourg.

Another two Cabinet members who had not been present Thursday - Deputy Finance Minister Giorgos Mavraganis and Deputy Foreign Minister Dimitris Kourkoulas - were being sworn in Friday.

Just hours earlier, the prime minister's office said new Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras would undergo eye surgery Saturday for the initial stages of a detached retina. Samaras, 61, returned to his office after the eye test, but a meeting of his conservative party's deputies scheduled for Friday evening was canceled. He is to be operated on at Athens' Attiko Hospital.

Samaras was sworn in as Greece's fourth prime minister in eight months Wednesday, ending a protracted political crisis that had raised fears of Greece being forced to leave the eurozone. Such a scenario would have global repercussions.


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