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Greek coalition talks to enter 2nd day

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Antonis Samaras, whose conservative party placed first in Greece’s election, leaves the Presidential Palace in Athens after meeting with President Karolos Papoulias on Monday, June 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

Both New Democracy and PASOK want an extension of at least two years to the austerity and reform deadline, to alleviate pressure on a population exhausted by two-and-a-half years of deep income cuts and tax hikes.

Unemployment has soared to more than 22 percent, while Greece’s economy is in a fifth year of deep recession.

Menelaos Hadjicostis and Elena Becatoros in Athens contributed to this report.

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