"Greek voters go to the polls today in an election that will determine whether the country that triggered the debt crisis in 2010 holds to the path of economic reform or challenges its creditors and sets a precedent for all Europe."
The election contest pitches Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’s New Democracy against opposition leader Alexis Tsipras’s Coalition of the Radical Left, or Syriza.
Tsipras has pledged to win a writedown of Greek debt and to abandon budget constraints that were imposed in return for aid, goals which Samaras says risk Greece’s expulsion from the euro area.
Governments from Berlin to Madrid by way of the European Union’s headquarters in Brussels are watching to see which argument prevails.
With Syriza extending its lead in the final days of the campaign, polls suggest Tsipras’s message of change is resonating more with voters wearied by the Greek economy’s contraction by a quarter and record unemployment.
Read more: "Bonds and stocks rallied in Athens on Friday, the last trading day before the vote, as the European Central Bank’s new bond-buying program offset investor concerns at the election outcome."