Papoulias prepares for EU summit, where he will carry PM’s message

President Karolos Papoulias will hold final meetings with government officials in Athens on Wednesday before flying to Brussels in the afternoon ahead of the European Union leaders? summit, which starts on Thursday.

Papoulias will represent Greece as Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is recovering from eye surgery and has been advised not to travel.

Papoulias will meet again with Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis, Finance Minister Giorgos Zannias and Alternate Finance Minister Christos Staikouras. The President met the three cabinet members on Tuesday but Wednesday?s meeting will also be attended by incoming Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras.

Greece?s head of state will also meet with Democratic Left leader Fotis Kouvelis before catching his flight to Brussels. Papoulias will be accompanied by Hatzidakis, Zannias and Staikouras. Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos will also be part of the Greek delegation.

Avramopoulos had originally been lined up to represent Greece but European Union rules demand that either heads of government of heads of state attend the meeting.

Papoulias will also be carrying a letter from Samaras to his EU counterparts. Kathimerini understands Samaras will not make reference to specific changes to the bailout terms but will point out that the deepening recession and rising unemployment mean the program needs to be adjusted.

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