Greeks vote in crucial parliamentary election

Last Updated: Sun, May 06, 2012 09:20 hrs

Athens, May 6 (IANS) Greeks are participating in crucial parliamentary elections Sunday that is expected to decide the country's future in the euro zone, RIA Novosti reported.

A total of 9.9 million Greeks voters will cast their vote to choose among 32 political parties. Polling stations opened at 7 a.m. and will close at 7 p.m.

Greece is holding the first general election since the debt crisis hit the country in late 2009.

The crisis had prompted the Greek authorities to implement deeply unpopular austerity measures in exchange for bailout funds from the European Union (EU) and the International Monetary Funds (IMF) to stave off a sovereign default.

Opinion polls suggest that there are no clear winners in the parliamentary election as voters, hit by record unemployment levels and drastic wage cuts, may elect an unprecedented number of small parties to the Greek parliament.

These parties are opposed to the harsh austerity measures that the country's two leading parties, New Democracy and the Socialist PASOK, have undertaken to pursue in exchange for the EU/IMF bailouts.

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