Athens, (IANS) Voting began Sunday for crucial elections in Greece that are expected to determine the country’s future in the Eurozone, with the main contenders being the right-wing New Democracy and left-wing Syriza, BBC reported.
The polls are being being watched around the world amid fears that a Greek exit from the euro could spread other Eurozone members and send turmoil throughout the global economy.
The election, the second in six weeks, was called after the May 6 polls proved inconclusive.
Meanwhile, the main contenders in Sunday’s elections are at odds over whether broadly to stick with the tough EU bailout deal, or reject it and boost social spending. Opinion polls have been prohibitted for two weeks before voting, however, unofficial polls say the result is too close to call, the report added.
The European Union (EU) leaders say if Greece rejects the bailout, it may have to leave the euro.
“Today the Greek people speak. Tomorrow a new era for Greece begins,” New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras said after casting his ballot.
“We have conquered fear. Today we open a road to hope,” Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras said, adding the election marked the start of a new era for Greece as “an equal member of a Europe that is changing”.
Tough austerity measures were attached to the two international bailouts awarded to Greece, an initial package worth 110bn euros ( $138 bn) in 2010, then a follow-up last year worth 130 bn euros ($164).