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Greece's New Leaders to Miss EU Meeting

  • VOA News

Newly appointed Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras smiles before a swearing in ceremony at the presidential palace in Athens, June 20, 2012.

Newly appointed Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras smiles before a swearing in ceremony at the presidential palace in Athens, June 20, 2012.

Greece has run into a snag in its efforts to renegotiate its European-led bailout, as health problems sidelined the new prime minister and finance minister ahead of a critical meeting with the European Union.

The government said Sunday that doctors had told Prime Minister Antonis Samaras to avoid travel after he had eye surgery on Saturday. Vassilis Rapanos was hospitalized with stomach pain Friday before he could be sworn in as finance minister.

Greece will be represented by Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos at the meeting in Brussels on June 28-29.

Mr. Samaras's week-old coalition government has called for the renegotiation of the harsh terms of the bailout, which is keeping Greece from bankruptcy.

Also, a visit to Athens Monday by officials of Greece's lenders - the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund - has been postponed.

The debt inspectors were due to review the country's fiscal situation and resume talks that had been put on hold during Greece's nearly two-month political deadlock.
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