The general election now underway in Greece is being seen as a crucial test for the future of the country and will likely have a big impact on Europe.
The fear is an inconclusive result will aggravate political chaos in Greece and – if Athens fails to stick to its austerity programme – revive a eurozone crisis.
This is the first poll since Lucas Papademos took over as caretaker prime minister in November. He managed to push through hard-hitting and hugely unpopular cuts and reforms in return for European Union and International Monetary Fund bailouts.
Now the public is expected to turn its back on the two mainstream parties in droves. The New Democracy party led by Antonis Samaras is likely to pay a heavy price for supporting the bailout, as is PASOK, lead by former finance minister Evangelos Venizelos.
In fact a record 10 parties could make it into parliament this time with small groups thrust into the role of power-brokers, creating perfect conditions for political paralysis in the birthplace of democracy.