After a two-day treatment, following the eye surgery, which the Greek Prime Minister underwent on Saturday, he was discharged from Attikon Hospital today. Shortly after 3 pm, two hours earlier than the time announced by some sources, Antonis Samaras passed through the central portal of the hospital in his car. Although his affected eye was covered with a bandage, he smiled and waved to the television cameras lined in front of the hospital. Then, his car drove him to his house.
Atikon Hospital is one of the largest hospitals in the Attica region. It is located in the western suburbs of Athens, where unemployment and penury are most strongly felt. While waiting for the government cars to leave, the journalists and technicians became the subject of various comments from grumbling citizens.
"Why are you here?," people in passing cars asked. When they learned that the reason was Antonis Samaras, they either passed derisively or showed dissatisfaction.
"Do not stay here and go to film the emergency reception," a woman said. Another one said how the pharmacy of the hospital had not been supplied with all necessary medicines during yesterday's duty and the patients had to wait all day long to get them.
The Prime Minister’s health problem hampered the work of government days before the crucial summit of the leaders of European Union member states in Brussels. Although Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos had prepared for it, President Carlos Papoulias will lead the Greek delegation as it is stipulated in the regulations that the states can be represented by their prime ministers and presidents. According to sources, a change in the composition of the delegation is possible after the discussion between Antonis Samaras and Carlos Papoulias that will take place later.
Although allowed to leave his hospital room, the Greek Prime Minister will have to stay home next week on the recommendation of doctors. Because he will not be able to participate in the summit, his coalition partners Evangelos Venizelos and Fotis Kouvelis announced that they will not go to Brussels. They said that during a telephone conversation with Antonis Samaras, they have decided to visit Brussels, Frankfurt, Washington and the capitals of major European countries after his recovery in order to initiate the dialogue on the renegotiation of the terms of the memorandum.
One of the Greek Prime Minister’s first interlocutors after his return from hospital was U.S. President Barack Obama. During the telephone conversation that lasted 20 minutes, he said that his country supports the efforts of Greece to remain in the euro area and expressed concern about Antonis Samaras’ health problems.