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Greek leader to try once again to forge coalition, avoid election

 ATHENS, Greece – Greece’s president will meet with political party leaders today in a last-ditch effort to broker a deal for a coalition government and avoid another general election.

 Karolos Papoulias took the step Saturday after socialist leader Evangelos Venizelos officially gave up the mandate to form a coalition government after three rounds of negotiations proved fruitless.

 Papoulias will meet initially with the heads of the three parties that won the most votes in last Sunday’s inconclusive elections – the conservative New Democracy, radical left-wing Radical Left Coalition (Syriza) and socialist PASOK. He will then meet individually with the leaders of the other four parties that won enough votes for parliamentary seats.

 If Papoulias fails to broker a coalition agreement, Greece will have to hold new elections next month, most likely on June 10 or June 17, prolonging the political uncertainty and bringing Greece’s euro membership into question.


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