23 Jun 2012

New Greek finance minister in hospital

5:59 am on 23 June 2012

Greece's new Finance Minister Vassilis Rapanos has been rushed to hospital, reportedly after fainting.

Mr Rapanos, who is chairman of Greece's national bank, was due to be sworn in to the new post on Friday.

The news followed an announcement earlier in the day that Prime Minister Antonis Samaras needs an emergency eye operation.

He was forced to cancel his first parliamentary meeting as a result.

The BBC reports Mr Samaras is due to go into hospital for an operation on Saturday.

Mr Rapanos, 65, is thought to be undergoing tests after fainting on Friday afternoon. No further details have been released on his condition.

He had been due to be sworn in to his new post on Friday evening, after the ceremony was delayed to allow outgoing finance minister Giorgis Zanias to represent Greece at a meeting of Eurozone finance ministers in Luxembourg.

Mr Samaras became Greece's fourth prime minister in eight months on Wednesday.

His conservative New Democracy party won 129 seats in Sunday's elections. Parliament has 300 seats.