Greece is voting today amid global fears that victory by parties that have vowed to ditch bailouts and austerity measures could undermine the eurozone and send the world's major economies reeling. For Greeks, it is the second national election in six weeks, reflecting political turmoil sparked by a two-year financial crisis that some fear could force the country to abandon the euro and return the drachma. That in turn would likely drag down other financially troubled countries and threaten the euro itself.
The last opinion polls published showed the radical left Syriza party of Alexis Tsipras running neck-and-neck with the conservative New Democracy party of Antonis Samaras. But no party is likely to win enough votes to form a government on its own, meaning a coalition will have to be formed to avoid yet another election. Tsipras has vowed to rip up Greece's bailout agreements and repeal austerity measures, but accuses rivals of casting him as the man who will ruin the country, and insists he will keep Greece within the euro—something that opinion polls have shown about 80% of Greeks want. For Samaras, "The main thing we will decide on is the dilemma, euro or drachma." European leaders have cautioned that Greece could be dumped from the 17-nation eurozone if it pulls out of its bailout commitments.