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Greek rivals try to hammer out power deal

ATHENS, Greece — Rival Greek political parties tried on Monday to hammer out a power-sharing deal to secure a $179 billion rescue package, and European leaders kept up pressure by holding back a vital bailout loan.

Socialist Prime Minister George Papandreou and conservative leader Antonis Samaras held fresh negotiations on the telephone Monday, hours after reaching the landmark agreement to form a coalition for the next 15 weeks. Papandreou is expected to resign after a power-sharing deal is reached.

The new administration's main job will be passing the new bailout package — agreed by international creditors on Oct. 27 — before holding early elections.

In Brussels, Jean-Claude Juncker, the chairman of the Eurogroup, kept the pressure on Greece by saying that eurozone finance ministers have asked the leaders of Greece's two main parties for a co-signed letter reaffirming their commitment to the bailouts and economic reforms.

Greece has survived since May 2010 on a $150 billion rescue-loan program. A second rescue package has been created in which private bondholders have agreed to cancel 50 percent of their Greek debt.

Greek rivals try to hammer out power deal 11/07/11 [Last modified: Monday, November 7, 2011 11:06pm]

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