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EUROPE > Greeks return to ballots to decide eurozone’s fate

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Nearly 10 million eligible voters will determine the fate of Greece’s euro fate. REUTERS photo

Nearly 10 million eligible voters will determine the fate of Greece’s euro fate. REUTERS photo

Greece votes on June 17 for the second time in less than two months in a parliamentary election that is being watched around the world as it could determine if Athens sticks to painful austerity measures or exits the eurozone.

Some 9.8 million eligible voters will be asked to choose between pro-bailout parties offering to “renegotiate” the country’s EU-IMF rescue deal, and a leftist party that wants to tear up the agreement.

Leftist Syriza has been running neck-and-neck with the conservative New Democracy in the latest polls but no party is expected to garner a ruling majority and the days to come are likely to be dominated by convulsed coalition talks.

Alexis Tsipras, the 37-year-old leader of Syriza, has pledged to make the bailout “history” if he completes a historic run that has so far seen his fledgling party more than triple its results from the previous election in 2009. Meanwhile, the leader of the Greek right-wing Golden Dawn party, Nikos Michaloliakos, has promised to “take back İzmir” a week after saying his party wanted “Istanbul back.”

Michaloliakos said they would take back Turkey’s Black Sea region as well during a party rally on June 14 in the city of Thessaloniki. The latest polls indicate Golden Dawn will remain in Parliament after the June 17 elections, despite a slight drop.

The party broke into Parliament for the first time in nearly 40 years and the latest polls indicate it will remain in Parliament.

June/16/2012

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