Greek Finance minister resigns
The Greek Finance Minister, Vassilis Rapanos, has resigned his post even before he was able to be sworn in. Rapanos, a leading banker, was appointed late last week to the unenviable role of Finance Minister but was then taken ill and ended up in hospital.
The new Prime Minister, Antonis Samaras, was also taken into hospital with a torn retina and had to undergo eye surgery. He is back at home but, crucially, will not attend an EU summit in Brussels on Thursday and Friday. The President, Karolos Papoulias, will replace the prime minister at the meeting where the Greek government is expected to ask for a loosening of the EU/IMF bailout to allow for at least an extra two years to meet the bailout conditions.
Outgoing finance minister, Giorgos Zanias, will remain in the post until a successor to Vassilis Rapanos is found.