There’s no doubt that many Greeks are frustrated following five years of deep austerity. Severe cuts in jobs, pensions and salaries have left many wondering why the public has to pay such a huge price for their leaders’ past mistakes.
Last year, the Greek economy emerged from recession for the first time in six years and unemployment has begun to drop slightly. But as they voted on Sunday, many Greeks knew it could be years before the country fully recovers.
One Athens resident was sceptical about Syriza’s promises: “I have young children. I have my job. I am afraid that I might lose out. Everyone thinks according to their own personal situation and I do not believe anything will change with the new government.”
Others were backing the left-wing newcomers. “I am voting hoping for a major change. There will be a new government that will get rid of the bailout agreements and the austerity. I am voting for Syriza,” said one.
After leaving a polling station, another remarked: “I voted for someone who is not in the government, has not stolen money from the country, has not fooled us, something new.”
Reporting from Athens, our correspondent Thodora Iliadi said: “All eyes in Europe are turned on us for one of the most critical elections of the past decades, as Greeks cast their vote to determine who will take the wheel and have the future of the country in their hands.”