Greek President Last-Ditch Coalition Effort

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ATHENS, Greece- Greek President Karolos Papoulias has called the leaders of Greece's political parties to meetings on Sunday, in a last-ditch effort to broker a deal for a coalition government.

Papoulias' office announced Saturday that the president would meet initially with the heads of the three parties that won the most votes in Sunday's inconclusive elections - the conservative New Democracy, radical left-wing Syriza and socialist PASOK. He will then meet individually with the leaders of the other four parties that won enough votes for parliamentary seats.

In theory, the president's talks with the party leaders could drag until the scheduled date for the opening of the new parliament, on May 17th. In practice, precedent shows that talks could take two or three days, George Katrougalos, a professor of constitutional law, told the Associated Press. It is also possible that an impasse could be reached Sunday.

If Papoulias fails to broker a coalition agreement, Greece will have to hold new elections next month.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Associated Press

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