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Slovakia: President's Condition 'Life-Threatening'

Bratislava, 26 June 2000 (RFE/RL) - Slovak President Rudolf Schuster's condition worsened "dramatically" overnight. His doctors say he has pneumonia in both lungs and is having problems with blood coagulation. Doctor Milan Majek says Schuster's "life is in danger." Schuster developed a high temperature yesterday and was taken from the Interior Ministry hospital to the National Cancer Institute for tests. He was then transferred early this morning to a third hospital (Dererova) in what his doctors say is an effort to prevent further complications.

Schuster was initially taken to hospital with a high fever June 14 and underwent an emergency operation for a perforated colon four days later.

Doctors carried out a second, four-hour operation on 23 June because of complications resulting from an infection.

Yesterday, Schuster underwent a tracheotomy, an operation that involves cutting a hole in the windpipe to help the patient breathe.

Three members of Czech President Vaclav Havel's medical panel arrived in Bratislava last night at the invitation of their Slovak colleagues. Havel suffered similar complications two years ago. Havel's Austrian surgeon, Ernst Bodner, is also due in Bratislava from Innsbruck.