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Crucial Greek Power-Sharing Talks In Second Day


EU Economic Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn
Greece's political leaders continue crucial talks today on building a new, transitional national unity government.

The interim government will be tasked with carrying out reforms needed to secure a 130 billion euro ($179 billion) European bailout to prevent a Greek default.

The austerity measures are opposed by many ordinary Greeks.

Socialist Prime Minister George Papandreou agreed to step down on November 6 after his plan last week to put the bailout deal to a referendum sparked a political crisis.

Since then, Papandreou and conservative opposition leader Antonis Samaras have been wrangling over who is to lead the interim government, which will also steer the country towards an early election.

EU Economic And Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn on November 7 said it was crucial that Greece take action to "restore the confidence" of its partners in the 17-nation eurozone.

"It is now essential that Greece will restore the confidence of its European partners by building a coalition government of national unity," Rehn said.

The United States, fearful a Greek default would spark fresh global economic turmoil, also called on Greece to fulfill its responsibilities.

White House spokesman Jay Carney urged Greek authorities to "move as quickly as possible."

compiled from agency reports