Greece’s new finance minister resigns post

Greece’s new finance minister resigns post

PanARMENIAN.Net - The banker who was chosen to be Greece's next finance minister has resigned for health reasons, three days after he was admitted to hospital, Belfast Telegraph said.

Meanwhile, the country's prime minister was confined to his home, recovering from serious eye surgery.

Greece's debt woes took a back seat to the health problems of the country's five-day-old government, forcing debt inspectors to postpone a visit to Athens and prompting Germany to warn that a European Union summit later this week would be unlikely to produce any major decisions on Greece.

Prime minister Antonis Samaras accepted the resignation of Vassilis Rapanos hours after being discharged from another hospital himself following an operation to repair a detached retina over the weekend.

Mr Rapanos, chairman of the National Bank of Greece, was named finance minister in the country's new three-party coalition government last week but became ill on Friday before he could be sworn in.

The Hygeia Hospital said his condition was improving and he is expected to be discharged tomorrow, but it did not elaborate on what he was suffering from.

Mr Rapanos said in his letter of resignation: "The recent incident that led to my admission to a hospital shows that my health problem has not been fully overcome."

Talks with his doctors led him to determine that "my health situation, for the time being, is not such that would allow me to fully and efficiently exercise my duties".

As he had not been sworn in, outgoing finance minister Giorgos Zanias, a key negotiator for Greece's international bailout before assuming the post in a one-month caretaker government, still holds the title.

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