Greek finance minister resigns, crisis deepens

By Harry Papachristou and Karolina Tagaris

ATHENS | Mon Jun 25, 2012

Newly appointed Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras arrives for the first cabinet meeting of his government at the parliament in Athens June 21, 2012. REUTERS/Yorgos Karahalis

(Reuters) – Greece’s new finance minister resigned because of ill health on Monday, throwing the government’s drive to soften the terms of an international bailout into confusion days before a European summit.

Vassilis Rapanos, 64, chairman of the National Bank of Greece, was rushed to hospital on Friday, before he could be sworn in, complaining of abdominal pain, nausea and dizziness. Greek media said he had a history of ill-health.

The office of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, who himself only took office last Wednesday following a June 17 election, said Rapanos had sent a letter of resignation because of his health problems and it had been accepted.

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