Greek premier Samaras unable to attend Euro 2012 game
(ATHENS) - Newly-elected Greek premier Antonis Samaras will be unable to attend his country's Euro 2012 quarter-final game against Germany on Friday, as he is set to undergo an eye operation, his office said.
Following a routine examination at the Attiko hospital in Athens, Samaras was diagnosed with a retinal detachment.
He returned to his office, according to state television, but will be admitted to the same hospital on Saturday to undergo an operation.
Incoming finance minister Vassilis Rapanos, meanwhile, was also taken to hospital on Friday after fainting, news reports said.
The government could not immediately confirm the reports.
Samaras' operation will end speculation about whether the Greek premier would go to the match in Gdansk, northern Poland, where German Chancellor Angela Merkel is set to attend.
Merkel has been the figurehead for discontent in Greece because of her insistence on tough austerity measures to ease a crippling debt crisis that threatens the wider eurozone.
Many people in Greece have seen the match as a chance to settle scores.
Conservative leader Samaras, who was sworn in as prime minister of a coalition government following crucial elections, might have to cancel his party's first parliamentary meeting, scheduled for Friday evening, said Greek media.
The coalition government, 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.
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