ATHENS (Reuters) - Former Greek prime minister Lucas Papademos was recovering well from injuries caused by a booby-trapped package exploding in his car on Thursday, with doctors saying he would stay in hospital for two more days.
Papademos, 69, who was caretaker prime minister for a few months at the peak of the debt crisis five years ago, did not have life-threatening injuries, they said.
He was being treated for superficial wounds to his abdomen and a deeper injury to his right leg from the blast, the worst act of violence against a politician in Greece for years.
“His medical condition is progressing well. He is still in the intensive care unit and will remain there for the next 48 hours, there is no cause for concern,” a health official told reporters outside the Evangelismos hospital in central Athens.
Doctors treating him told reporters he was awake, breathing well with no need for an oxygen mask and had had a 15-minute chat with President Prokopis Pavlopoulos.
“The injury to his right upper leg was the deepest wound, it reached muscle tissue,” one of the doctors said.
Police were trying to trace the trail of the envelope and the post office from where it was sent to the Academy of Athens, where Papademos is president.
There was still no immediate claim of responsibility.
Bank of Greece Governor Yannis Stournaras ordered an internal investigation at the central bank to determine whether the envelope sent to Papademos had gone through the central bank’s security checks, an official at the bank told Reuters.
Papademos still maintains an office there. Bank of Greece security scans all mail as standard practice, the official said.
Greece has a history of small-scale attacks against politicians, businesses and police. The last major incident was a booby-trapped package killing a guard for then civil protection minister Michalis Chrysohoidis in 2010.
In March, police intercepted eight suspect packages at a postal sorting center in Athens, days after letter bombs were sent to the German Finance Ministry and the International Monetary Fund in Paris. The IMF package exploded, injuring an employee, while the one sent to Germany was caught by scanners.
A Greek urban guerrilla group, Conspiracy of Fire Cells, claimed responsibility for that package.
Papademos, an economist who is more of a technocrat than a politician, was catapulted to center stage in Greece’s debt crisis when he became caretaker prime minister from late 2011 to May 2012, fusing a fragile governing coalition.
He was Greek central bank governor from 1994-2002 and vice-president of the European Central Bank from 2002 to 2010.
Greece remains in recession with the highest jobless rate in Europe and a stalled creditor review has interrupted payouts under its international bailout program, its third since 2010.
Editing by Louise Ireland and Elaine Hardcastle