Greeks Vote in Elections

Posted May 6th, 2012 at 1:00 am (UTC-5)
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Greeks are voting Sunday in the first general election since the start of the country's debt crisis.

Angered by economic difficulties, voters are expected to punish the country's two main parties: the socialist PASOK party and the conservative New Democracy party. Many Greeks blame the parties for leading the nation into its current bind through mismanagement.

In just two years, Greece has received two huge international bailouts to keep from defaulting on its financial obligations. But in order to secure the aid from the European Union and International Monetary Fund, the government had to bow to demands to impose sharp spending cuts and tax increases, which have generated widespread protests.

The two main parties are expected to lose votes Sunday to a field of smaller parties opposed to the austerity measures, bringing fears of new political instability.

If no party wins enough votes to form a government, building a new coalition could prove difficult and create even more problems for the nation's financial standing and its latest bailout. Many Greeks want the terms of the bailout to be renegotiated.

Voting started at 7:00 a.m. local time and will close 12 hours later.