Hospital: Incoming Greek finance minister admitted for tests

Newly appointed Greek Finance Minister Vassilis Rapanos was admitted to a hospital for tests a day after he was appointed to the key government role.

Story highlights

  • The swearing-in of Rapanos has been delayed, the prime minister's office says
  • Vassilis Rapanos has been admitted for tests, the Ygeia private hospital says
  • Greek media reported that Rapanos had collapsed
  • PM Antonis Samaras is undergoing minor eye surgery Friday, his office says

Greece's incoming finance minister, Vassilis Rapanos, was admitted to a hospital Friday for tests, a day after he was appointed to the key government role, hospital officials confirmed.

The management of the Ygeia private hospital in Athens said it would issue a full medical report on Rapanos later.

His hospital admission followed reports on Greek media that he had collapsed.

Rapanos, who is chairman of the National Bank of Greece, was named Thursday as the debt-stricken nation's new finance minister, a role that will carry considerable pressure.

The prime minister's office said he was to have been sworn in at 7 p.m. Friday (noon ET) but the swearing-in has been postponed until he has left hospital.

Greece's new prime minister, Antonis Samaras, is also undergoing a medical procedure Friday, in his case, minor retina surgery, his office said.

As a result he won't be able to attend a Euro 2012 soccer match between Greece and Germany in Poland Friday evening.

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel is expected to attend the quarter-final match, which has taken on additional significance because of the political tension between the two nations. Germany is blamed by many in Greece for the tough austerity measures imposed as a condition of Greece's international bailout.

The swearing-in of Greece's new Cabinet Thursday brought an end to months of uncertainty during which Greece was governed by a series of unelected governments.

The governing coalition is made up of the center-right New Democracy, headed by Samaras, along with the Socialist Pasok party and the Party of the Democratic Left.

The new government, which has pledged to push for a renegotiation of some of the painful austerity measures under the bailout, will face significant challenges.

The country is struggling to get out of the political and financial mire that threatens to drag down Europe's common currency and spark a new global financial crisis.

Greece will go to a summit of European leaders in Brussels, Belgium, next week, determined to push them to renegotiate the terms of Greece's unpopular international bailout, most likely by extending the timetable for certain elements.

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