Greece elections: Politicians make final pledges as campaigning ends


Replica drachma notes on display outside a bank on June 14, 2012 in Athens, Greece.


Milos Bikanski

Political leaders in Greece have wrapped up campaigning ahead of Sunday’s general election, which could determine whether Greece becomes the first country to exit the 17-nation euro zone, Deutsche Presse-Agentur reported.

The conservative New Democracy leader, Antonis Samaras, told supporters last night the election offered the choice between staying with the euro or going back to the old drachma currency.

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Over on the far left, leader of the Syriza Party, Alexis Tsipras, promised to save Greece from its financial woes by changing the terms of a 240 billion euros ($303 billion) bailout package agreed with the European Union and International Monetary Fund.

As it stands, the rescue fund requires that Greece impose harsh austerity measures.

Meanwhile Agence France Presse reported that stocks closed higher on the Athens Stock Exchange, and the euro currency made gains against the dollar Friday, in a sign that analysts are optimistic the election will produce a viable government.

Sunday’s Greek vote comes after political parties were unable to agree on a coalition government following general elections in May.

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Under Greek law, opinion polls cannot be conducted in the two weeks prior to elections, Bloomberg reported, however the most recent surveys put New Democracy and Syriza neck and neck.

Neither party is expected to win an outright majority.