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Slovak President Leaves Hospital

August 29, 2002

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VIENNA, Austria (AP) _ Doctors in Austria finished extensive medical tests Thursday on Slovakia’s president, but could not immediately determine the cause of his illness.

President Rudolf Schuster’s personal doctor at Vienna’s General Hospital, Dr. Wolfgang Graninger, told reporters he had finished examining the president, but did not yet have a diagnosis. According to the Austria Press Agency, Graninger said he was still waiting for the results of several laboratory tests.

In the afternoon, the 68-year-old leader returned to Slovakia, where he will continue to recover at home, said his spokesman, Jan Fule.

Schuster was admitted to the Austrian hospital Tuesday after suffering a fever, shivering fits and general fatigue that doctors in the Slovakian capital of Bratislava could not diagnose.

Graninger said the president’s symptoms could point to an infection of the liver or gall bladder.

Earlier in the week, doctors in Slovakia examining Schuster said his illness was likely caused by either his gallbladder, a viral infection or food poisoning.

His family alleged that the president had been poisoned, but Graninger said that was ``unlikely.″ Schuster’s son, Peter, withdrew the allegation, the state-run Slovak news agency, TASR, reported.

Speaking to reporters at the hospital Thursday, Schuster responded to criticism in his home country for having sought medical treatment abroad.

``My treatment in Vienna should be seen as a prelude of how life will be when we are finally in the European Union,″ said Schuster. Slovakia is hoping to become a member of the EU by 2004.

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