Greece's new government mulls more deep spending cuts despite pledge to ease hardship

ATHENS, Greece – The heads of three parties supporting Greece’s month-old coalition government are meeting to try and finalize a new round of austerity measures worth €11.5 billion ($14.1 billion) demanded by international rescue creditors.

Conservative Prime Minister Antonis Samaras met with leaders of the Socialist party and small Democratic Left party Wednesday to discuss the 2013-14 measures after five days of Cabinet-level talks failed to produce sufficient cuts.

Samaras won the June 17 election, promising to renegotiate bailout terms and ease austerity, but could be forced to slash public benefits further to help cover the €11.5 billion budget shortfall.

Debt inspectors from the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund — known as the troika — are due to return to Athens next week.