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Updated at 9:58 am on 15 May 2012
Greek political leaders are sticking to entrenched positions before another round of coalition talks, dashing hopes of a last-minute compromise to avoid a new election.
Negotiations on forming a new government have ended after an hour on Monday night but will resume on Tuesday.
President Karolos Papoulias has proposed a technocratic government. If no new coalition is formed, fresh elections must take place in June, the BBC reports.
The leaders of the centre-right New Democracy, Socialist party Pasok and moderate Democratic Left arrived at the presidential palace shortly on Monday evening for talks but left an hour later.
"Things are very difficult. I'm not optimistic," Evangelos Venizelos, the leader of the Socialist Pasok party, said.
Mr Papoulias called another round of talks for Tuesday, to include all parties except the far right.
The left-wing Syriza bloc - the second largest in parliament - did not attend the talks on Monday, saying it would not join any coalition making further cuts.
Syriza rejects the terms of the bailout by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, which demand more austerity.
Three previous attempts to form a government since elections on 6 May have failed.
A majority of Greek voters supported parties opposed to the austerity needed to meet the terms of the 130 billion euro bailout.
The country is set to run out of money as early as June unless it can negotiate another aid tranche.
European share markets lost ground on Monday amid fears Greece will abandon the euro.
London's FTSE-100 lost nearly 2%, while there were similar falls in France and Germany.
Copyright © 2012, Radio New Zealand
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