Romania: president meets Austrian counterpart

"I'm very impressed that he's in good condition," Austrian president Heinz Fischer told Romanian television after the meeting. "He has no pain and spoke very well about the doctors," Fischer said.

Meanwhile, Romanian Health Minister Eugen Nicolaescu came under criticism in the local media and from the parliamentary opposition for urging Basescu to have surgery abroad.

"The chaos in the Romanian health system is so bad that even a disc hernia operation cannot be done safely for a patient in Romania," the Social Democratic Party said in a statement.

Nicolaescu responded the Romanian health system was "sick," but that hundreds of people were being operated daily for similar conditions without problems.

He said the decision to transfer him to Vienna was made because his condition worsened Monday night and became an emergency, while Romania's top doctors were not ready to operate that night.

"The president is not allowed to risk his life," Nicolaescu said.

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