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Last Updated: Monday, 5 September 2005, 21:43 GMT 22:43 UK
Sick Chirac makes 'good progress'
Jacques Chirac
The president's engagements have been cancelled for a week
French doctors said President Jacques Chirac was making "very favourable" progress in hospital on Monday after being admitted with an eye complaint.

Dr Anne Robert, of the military health service, said he should be fit to leave the clinic within a few days.

He entered hospital in Paris on Friday after noticing a problem with his eye.

It was described it as a "vascular" incident - one related to blood vessels. Dr Robert said Mr Chirac had suffered a "a small haematoma".

This "explains the isolated and limited character of the vision trouble," she said in a statement.

"The president is resting, under straightforward medical surveillance. I confirm that he should leave in a few days, that is to say at the end of a period of hospitalisation of around a week."

A leading cardiologist, Piers Clifford, said most patients recover from the incident - known as a transient ischemic attack - as the haematoma, or blood clot, dissolves.

Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin said the president's eyesight disorder was not linked to "any other problem".

He said Mr Chirac, 72, was closely following the nation's affairs and had been walking around in his room.

Mr Chirac has had a reputation for robust health throughout his political career and has suffered no major health problems.

The head of Mr Chirac's UMP party - his political rival Nicolas Sarkozy - said the whole party wished the president well.

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has also sent Mr Chirac a "get-well-soon" message.





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