Greek leaders fail to agree on austerity measures

By the Associated Press | May 27, 2011 | 11:58 AM EDT

Greece's conservative leader Antonis Samaras, right and right-wing LAOS party leader Giorgos Karatzaferis attend a meeting in Athens on Friday May 27, 2011.Greek political leaders held crisis meeting to find consensus on austerity measures. (AP Photo/Aris Messinis,pool)

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece's main opposition conservative party has rejected a government plea for cross-party agreement on new austerity measures, despite strong pressure from the European Union and worries about a default.

Conservative leader Antonis Samaras on Friday said he could not endorse a program that would "flatten the Greek economy and destroy Greek society."

Samaras and other opposition party leaders met with Socialist Prime Minister George Papandreou for more than three hours in a failed bid to reach a deal that would extend debt reduction measures to 2015, two years beyond the present government's mandate.