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Greece's ailing leaders to miss EU summit on eurozone crisis

•, Helena Smith

Greece's new leaders will be unable to attend this week's EU summit on the euro crisis or host the "troika" team of creditors in Athens because two senior figures in the incoming administration are ill.

Days after a new conservative-led coalition was installed, doctors said the new prime minister, Antonis Samaras, would be unable to attend the Brussels summit. International auditors then said they had been forced to postpone a visit to assess Greece's financial progress.

The inspection tour by monitors from the EU, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund, the first since March, had been seen as key to releasing rescue funds for the cash-strapped Greece. But officials said on Sunday the hospitalisation of Samaras and his finance minister, Vassilis Rapanos, had meant it would be delayed until both were back at work.
 In the case of Samaras, 61, who underwent an eye operation on Saturday, that is not likely for at least a week. On Sunday the prime minister's physician, Panaghiotis Theodosiadis said he had "staunchly forbidden" Samaras from any travel following "difficult surgery" for a detached retina.

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