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Greeks seek elusive bailout deal as EU tempers fray

Reuters Canada – Tue Feb 7, 2012 7:53pm EST

By Renee Maltezou and George Georgiopoulos ATHENS (Reuters) – Greek parties will try yet again on Wednesday to strike a reform deal in return for a new international rescue to avoid a chaotic default, after a string of delays which have prompted some EU leaders to warn that the euro zone can live without Athens.

As one deadline after another has come and gone, leaders of the three parties in the coalition of Prime Minister Lucas Papademos postponed what was supposed to have been a crunch meeting on Tuesday until the following day.

Papademos – a technocat parachuted in last November to secure the new 130 billion euro ($172 billion) rescue from the IMF and EU – is trying to persuade the party leaders to accept austerity and reform measures which are likely to prove highly unpopular with an angry and despondent Greek electorate.