News / Europe

Eurozone Braces for Greek Election

Scene in GreeceScene in Greece
x
Scene in Greece
Scene in Greece
Lisa Bryant
PARIS - Eurozone countries will be anxiously watching the outcome of  second-round of legislative elections Sunday in Greece, which may determine the country's future role in the eurozone.  

Greek voters will be choosing between parties that call for two different ways of dealing with the country's creditors: either largely adhering to the austerity commitments Athens made in return for bailout funds, or to abandon them and negotiate for better terms.

If Greek voters choose the more radical Syriza party, which rejects the austerity measures, experts believe Greece will leave the 17-nation eurozone. However, other economists, such as Simon Tilford of the London Center for European Reform, say Greece is heading for the exit regardless of the election's outcome.  

"I struggle to see how Greece can stay within the eurozone. I think for that to happen, the country would need ongoing support," said Tilford. "I don't just mean loans, but ongoing transfers of money from elsewhere within the eurozone."  

The Greek legislative vote caps a grim week for the currency union, during which Spain and Italy saw their borrowing costs soar, underscoring investor concerns about their economies. Following talks in Rome on Thursday, French and German leaders said they hope Greece will keep the euro as its currency.
 
French President Francois Hollande emphasized this in an interview on Greek television.  

Hollande says that if Greeks give the impression they will not meet their bailout engagements, then some eurozone countries will want Athens to leave the currency union. He called for Greece to remain in the eurozone, but also for a relationship built on trust.

Economist Tilford says European governments have low expectations.  

"Although they know that no Greek government is really going to be able to abide by the terms of the bailout, because the bailout places unrealistic demands on Greece, they hope that by at least having a committed government there, they will be able to buy some time and that the pressure on Spain and Italy will dissipate," said Tilford.

Divisions are also sharpening about how to tackle the eurozone crisis, with France and Italy calling for more growth measures and Germany sticking by its austerity prescriptions. These competing visions will be on the table in Brussels, during a European Union summit later this month.

You May Like

Polls Open in Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

China-India Border Standoff Continues as Leaders Hold Summit

New Delhi accuses hundreds of Chinese soldiers of illegally entering Indian territory in disputed region of Ladakh More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid