People in Greece have been going to the polls again in the full glare of the world’s eyes, amid warnings that the outcome of their general election could reach far beyond their own borders.
Observers say the cliffhanger vote could result in Greece leaving the euro. At home it amounts to a referendum on the international bailout terms.
The polls have suggested that two very opposing parties are running neck and neck.
The leader of the conservative New Democracy party, Antonis Samaras, cast his ballot. His hard sell message has meant trying to persuade voters that rejecting the harsh conditions would bring even greater economic calamity.
Last month’s inconclusive vote pushed Alexis Tsipras of the radical left party Syriza into the international spotlight. He also voted on Sunday morning, having continued to argue for tearing up the bailout deal while remaining in the euro.
Once in power but lagging behind in the polls is Pasok. The knives could be out for leader Evangelos Venizelos if, as the surveys suggest, his socialist party suffers a further collapse.
Ongoing recession has brought unemployment, tax rises, pay cuts and poverty. The last election brought stalemate. Europe and the world are again watching anxiously to see where Greece goes next.
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