Athens: Hardly after a week of being designated as the Finance Minister of Greece, Vassilis Rapanos, resigned on Monday due to health concerns deepening the crisis in the debt-strapped nation. Doctors describe his illness as “chronic”.
Rapanos, 64, who is also the chairman of the National Bank of Greece, has been ill for several days. He was rushed to the hospital last Friday even before he could be sworn in as he had fainted after complaining of abdominal pain, nausea and dizziness.
Greek PM Antonio Samaras himself is recovering after undergoing an eye surgery on Saturday. He was released from hospital today, but will have to stay home for several days and won't be able to travel to Brussels for the EU summit.
Taking note of the poor health of Greek PM, Germany today said not to expect much to emerge out of the European Union Summit on Greece.
The EU summit this week on June 28-June29, comes just a week after Greece's new coalition government was formed following months of political turmoil and two inconclusive elections.
It was supposed to be a key test of Athens' hopes of renegotiating some of the austerity measures it has agreed to in return for billions of euros in rescue loans from the International Monetary Fund and other European Union nations that use the joint euro currency.
PM’s bad health also took a toll on a trip of “troika” of the EU, IMF and the ECB as they had to cancel scheduled visit to Greece today wherein they were to assess the debt-ridden country’s progress in meeting bailout.
Without the troika report on Greece's progress in economic reforms required by its international bailout, Germany said it would be premature to expect any new decisions this week.
Samaras has been pressing Greece's creditors to revise the bailout deal, which is despised by many ordinary Greeks.
"The troika needs to go to Athens, they need to assess the status of the program, then they need to brief the eurozone and IMF leadership," said Steffen Seibert, the spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel. "On the basis of this assessment, one can talk about necessary updating of the program that is the road map that everyone in Europe is following and that's why we don't expect any sort of a resolution on Greece at the EU council."
With fears that Greece's problems are not getting resolved soon, the Athens Stock Exchange general price index closed 6.84 per cent down today.
Greece is under huge international pressure for meeting the terms of bailout. Time is ticking off quiet fast for the debt-ridden country and it has already wasted enough time over two elections. And now the poor health of the PM and the newly designated FM resigning are reflective of a badly ailing Greece economy.
With Agency Inputs
First Published: Monday, June 25, 2012, 22:34