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Papoulias seeks emergency government

ATHENS, Greece, May 12 (UPI) -- Greek President Karolos Papoulias talked with party leaders to try to create an emergency government after talks with PASOK failed, officials said.

The socialist PASOK party's leader, Evangelos Venizelos, formally returned the mandate to the president after the party became the third bloc coalition to fail in efforts to form a coalition, the BBC said Saturday.

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If Papoulias' effort to create an emergency government fails, another election will have to be held.

Greek voters last Sunday backed parties that oppose Greece's bailout deal, which would require major spending cuts, and Greece could default on its debts and be forced out of the eurozone, the 17 countries that share the euro as currency.

Venizelos had held talks with with center-right New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras, whose party came in first in the election, but was unable to find a third party to provide a majority in Parliament.

"I hope that during the negotiations chaired by Mr. Papoulias everyone will be more mature and responsible in their thinking," Venizelos said.

New Democracy and left-wing SYRIZA, which came in second in the election, also failed to form a coalition.

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SYRIZA has rejected last year's bailout by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, which would require austerity measures in exchange for loans of more than $170 billion.

The Fitch ratings agency said if Greece left the eurozone, the remaining 16 countries would be placed on "rating watch negative" -- meaning they'd be in danger of being downgraded.

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