Bureau Chief, Greece & Cyprus
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Jun 15, 2012

Bets are on Greek right but soccer may sway vote

ATHENS (Reuters) – Bookmakers see Greece’s conservative New Democracy winning Sunday’s election but political parties say the race is so close that even an international soccer match or the weather may help usher the radical left into power.

Greeks angry after two years of austerity and decades of corruption punished mainstream politicians in an inconclusive election on May 6 that catapulted the SYRIZA party to a surprise second place, turning the fringe leftists into serious contenders in Sunday’s repeat vote.

Jun 14, 2012

Greeks to decide euro membership in nail-biter vote

ATHENS (Reuters) – An upstart radical leftist is racing neck and neck with the conservative heir of a prominent Greek family in an election on Sunday that will decide if Greece stays in the euro zone and which could spread turmoil across global financial markets.

Voters fed up with the harsh measures prescribed by international lenders in a 130 billion euro bailout punished mainstream parties in an inconclusive May 6 election and appear split over the choices offered in the repeat vote.

Jun 13, 2012

Greek radical Tsipras is no working class hero

ATHENS (Reuters) – Alexis Tsipras, the radical Greek leftist who wants to cancel a bailout deal keeping the country afloat if he wins elections on Sunday, is no working class hero.

Born into a comfortable middle class family, Tsipras has a post-graduate degree in engineering but worked only briefly in construction before turning to full-time politics and being handed the SYRIZA party leadership on a platter four years ago.

Jun 13, 2012

Greeks withdraw cash ahead of cliffhanger vote

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greeks pulled their cash out of the banks and stocked up with food ahead of a cliffhanger election on Sunday that many fear will result in the country being forced out of the euro.

Bankers said up to 800 million euros ($1 billion) were leaving major banks daily and retailers said some of the money was being used to buy pasta and canned goods, as fears of returning to the drachma were fanned by rumors that a radical leftist leader may win the election.

Jun 12, 2012

Greek conservative learns from debacle, but maybe too late

ATHENS (Reuters) – Antonis Samaras swallowed his fear of hecklers, took off his jacket and mingled with the crowd, part of an energetic makeover that the veteran conservative leader hopes will win Sunday’s election and save Greece.

In a country where politicians are routinely spattered with yoghurt or pelted with eggs by furious voters, his walkabout in the town of Corinth over the weekend counts as a bold move.

Jun 7, 2012

Greek far-right party member assaults politicians on TV

ATHENS (Reuters) – The spokesman of Greece’s far-right Golden Dawn party slapped one female leftist politician in the face and threw a glass of water at another during a live TV debate on Thursday, causing a political uproar and an order for his arrest.

Other political parties condemned Ilias Kasidiaris for the assault on the two women during a morning talk show on private television station Antenna ahead of the June 17 parliamentary election.

Jun 6, 2012

Election promises no end to Greece’s agony

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece’s mainstream parties may defeat a radical leftist leader whose policies could force the country out of the euro, but victory in the election on June 17 is unlikely to be conclusive and another vote may be on the horizon.

The upstart leftist SYRIZA party is running neck-and-neck with conservative New Democracy ahead of the second national election in six weeks as Greece reels from a debt crisis that is shaking the euro to its core.

Jun 6, 2012

Analysis: Election promises no end to Greece’s agony

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece’s mainstream parties may defeat a radical leftist leader whose policies could force the country out of the euro, but victory in the election on June 17 is unlikely to be conclusive and another vote may be on the horizon.

The upstart leftist SYRIZA party is running neck-and-neck with conservative New Democracy ahead of the second national election in six weeks as Greece reels from a debt crisis that is shaking the euro to its core.

May 22, 2012

Greeks embrace some new myths about life with the euro

ATHENS (Reuters) – In a land of ancient myths, modern Greeks have created some of their own about their near-bankrupt country’s future as an integral part of a Europe that will never kick them out.

Solemn warnings from abroad that Athens cannot stay in the euro while rejecting the terms attached to the billions offered to pull Greece out of its financial hole are widely disbelieved in a land that considers itself the envy of foreigners.

May 21, 2012

Greece party talks framed by unreality, punctuated by insults

Athens (Reuters) – “Gentlemen, we are finished,” said the patrician President, calling an abrupt halt to two hours of baiting and cat-calling between furious Greek politicians. “I’m starting to get upset myself now. We are finished.”

The final collapse of talks to forge a new Greek government triggered repeat elections and fears of a chaotic exit from the euro zone. But it is the manner of that collapse, the acrimony and rancour cited by Karolos Papoulias, that bodes ill for efforts after June polls to pull Greece back from the brink.

    • About Dina

      "Based in Athens, in charge of text, pictures and TV teams covering Greece and Cyprus since 2005. Previously based in Bucharest, in charge of Romania and Bulgaria."
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