Premier Experiences Breathing, Kidney Problems
ATHENS, Greece (AP) _ A week after being hospitalized for pneumonia, Premier Andreas Papandreou experienced breathing difficulties and kidney problems on Monday, his doctors said.
A medical bulletin from the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center said Papandreou received hemodialysis, a treatment to remove waste from the blood, and was in better condition afterwards.
``The kidney function is being restored gradually and his breathing is restored to the point where it was earlier today,″ said Grigoris Skalkeas, vice president of the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center.
Earlier in the day, doctors said the 76-year-old Papandreou was showing a steady improvement. He was hospitalized last Monday, put on a respirator Tuesday, but taken off of it on Friday.
``I believe the premier will return to his original condition and be able to carry out his duties,″ Skalkeas said.
Skalkeas said Papandreou ``spent a very calm night and has been showing steady improvement over the past 12 hours. His breathing has been easier than any other day since he was admitted and he is in good spirits.″
Apostolos Kaklamanis, the Socialist head of the Parliament, told reporters Monday that Papandreou was not bedridden but ``walking, sitting and talking.″
Papandreou has been in frail health since heart surgery in 1988, keeping public appearances to a minimum following his return to power in 1993. He also governed from 1981 to 1989.
The Socialist government will not discuss the possibility of Papandreou stepping down now, saying Interior Minister Akis Tsochadzopoulos will fill in for him when necessary.