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ATHENS, GREECE — It’s the final day of trading before this weekend’s Greek election that pits the left-wing, anti-bailout SYRIZA party against the conservative, establishment, pro-bailout New Democracy party. There are other parties competing, like the old line socialists PASOK, and the ultra-left communist parties, but SYRIZA and New Democracy are the only parties that matter.And some might argue that SYRIZA is really the only party that matters, and that the whole thing is just a referendum on their plans to rebuke the current path.
The election takes place on Sunday, and the polls will close at 7 PM Greek time, which is noon New York time. The first wave of exit polls will come then, and at least in the May 6 election, they were unusually accurate.
There are two things you should know.
The first is that while the buzz is that the New Democracy party will win, not everyone is convinced. Lots of people feel totally confident that SYRIZA will in, as they’ve certainly captured the public’s imagination in a way that no other party has. Even people who never associated with the left will vote for SYRIZA.
The other thing is that bank run fears are a very real thing. In fact, this is probably the most accute immediate fear… not that Greece will be kicked out, or that Greece would voluntarily exit (nobody seems to think that) but that a run on the banks will hasten the end. Taking money out of Greek banks and putting it in England, Scandinavia, Switzerland, or even Cyprus (which is incredibly ironic, since it too is in a crisis) is a major topic of conversation among everyone.
We’ll of course be providing election coverage all weekend.
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