Reuters reports Greek PM, Finance Minister Will Miss Summit Due to Illness.
Illness means both Greece’s new prime minister and finance minister will miss an anxiously awaited summit of European leaders later this week and delayed a visit by the country’s international lenders.
According to a document prepared for the June 28-29 meeting, European leaders will discuss specific steps towards a cross-border banking union, closer fiscal integration and the possibility of a debt redemption fund.
But Prime Minister Antonis Samaras underwent eye surgery on Saturday and Vassilis Rapanos is in hospital after suffering from nausea before he could be sworn in as finance minister.
Instead, Greece’s foreign minister and outgoing finance minister will attend the meeting to ask for the terms of the 130 billion euro ($162.96 billion) bailout to be loosened.
Athens faces a stern test at the two-day EU summit, with euro zone paymaster Germany particularly resistant to giving Athens any leeway.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble made his country’s position all too clear in a bluntly worded interview on Sunday, telling Greece to stop asking for more help and instead move quickly to enact reform measures already agreed.
“The most important task facing new prime minister Samaras is to enact the programme agreed upon quickly and without further delay instead of asking how much more others can do for Greece,” Schaeuble, a close ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel, told Bild am Sonntag.
His comments came as the paper carried a poll of 4,000 people showing 78 percent of Germans and 65 percent of French people wanted Greece to leave the euro zone, with 51 percent in Spain and 49 percent in Italy also backing a Greek exit.
Having to face the Troika, Merkel, and German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble would be enough to give any Greek nausea. That statement particularly applies to the Greek finance minister.
Expect the nausea to be permanent.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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