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August 19, 2017

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Greek prime minister, incoming finance minister to miss summit

ATHENS -- Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, who underwent eye surgery on Saturday, will not attend a summit of EU leaders on June 28-29, when Athens will seek to ease the punishing terms of its international bailout, a government spokesman said.

Incoming Finance Minister Vassilis Rapanos will also miss the summit having been rushed to the hospital on Friday before he could be sworn in, complaining of nausea, intense abdominal pains and dizziness. He remains in the hospital.

Government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou said Greece would be represented at the EU summit by Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos and outgoing Finance Minister George Zanias.

Samaras underwent successful surgery to repair a damaged retina and Kedikoglou said he would leave the hospital on Monday.

"The orders of his doctor are for him not to travel and to stay at home for a few days," he said. The hospital said his condition was "good and improving."

A government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said inspectors from Greece's "troika" of lenders — the EU, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund — were considering postponing "for a few days" a visit to Athens that was due to start on Monday.

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