Greek socialists PASOK call for pro-European coalition

ATHENS Mon May 7, 2012 10:36am EDT

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ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek Socialist leader Evangelos Venizelos appealed on Monday for a pro-European coalition to keep the country in the euro zone and reiterated that terms of an unpopular bailout should be renegotiated to lessen the burden on Greeks.

Venizelos's PASOK party and his conservative rivals New Democracy failed to win a combined majority in parliament after Sunday's election, leaving Greece's political landscape in disarray.

The two parties are the only ones in parliament backing a bailout package tied to austerity measures.

"All political forces must respond to the country's need to be governed," the Socialist leader said after holding talks with New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras.

Venizelos said Greece should renegotiate the terms of its bailout, reiterating that cuts demanded under the package should be spread out over three years instead of two.

(Reporting by Renee Maltezou, editing by Mike Peacock)

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