Greece will today decide whether the country is to continue using the single currency and stay in the eurozone.
Voting has begun in a re-run of the Greek general election with views in the run up to the polling date polarized by Greece’s involvement in the euro debt crisis. The initial election on May 6th provided an inconclusive result.
One the one hand Greek voters have a choice at the election of the left-wing Syriza party, who have rejected the austerity measures that are a condition of Greece receiving bailout funds, and, consequently, a vote for them will be a vote to leave the euro.
Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras said: "We have conquered fear. Today we open a road to hope."
The right-wing alternative is the New Democracy party who want to stick with most of the austerity measures demanded by Greece’s EU partners in return for bailout funds. A vote for them is, broadly speaking, a vote to stay with the single currency and in the eurozone.
," New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras said: "Today the Greek people speak. Tomorrow a new era for Greece begins."
The election result is hugely significant and will be watched across the globe. The result will dictate to a large degree the direction of the financial markets in the short term and the future direction of the euro in the medium term. The fear is that a Greek exit could cause the euro debt crisis to spread to other vulnerable member states.
Greece has received two international bailouts and neither of them have lifted the economy out of its doldrums. In 2010, Greece received a bailout worth €110 billion and in 2011 a further €130 billion was advanced.
As a condition of the bailouts Greece agreed to implement tough austerity measures to lower its debt levels. However, these have been difficult for many people in the country to stomach as many people are unhappy with the conditions attached to them which were agreed by political parties on their behalf.
But the bailout funds are keeping the country afloat and enabling it to avoid bankruptcy. There have been suggestions that these terms could be renegotiated by the next government but Germany has proved resistant to this idea.
On Saturday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said: "It is extremely important that tomorrow's Greek elections lead to a result in which those who form the government say, 'Yes, we want to keep to our commitments.'"
On Monday, the G20 hold another summit in Los Cabos, Mexico and talks will be dominated by the euro debt crisis and the outcome of the Greek elections.
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