The Madeleine Brand Show for June 15, 2012

Greek future in the balance as voters head to polls

Debt Wracked Greece Prepares For Critical General Election

Milos Bicanski/Getty Images

Supporters wave flags as they attend a Syriza Party pre-election party rally held by Alexis Tsipras on June 14, 2012 in Athens, Greece.The Greek electorate are due to go to the polls in a re-run of the general election on June 17, 2012 after no combination of political parties were able to form a coalition government. Recent opinion polls have placed the anti-bailout party 'Syriza' equal in popularity with the pro-bailout 'New Democracy' ahead of Sunday's general election which could determine whether Greece retains the Euro as its currency.

This weekend, Greek voters will choose a new government and the possible outcomes are causing major anxiety for countries looking to save the flailing Euro.

If voters choose politicians who reject austerity measures, as promoted by the surging far-left party Syriza, the bail-out agreement could dissolve, and that could mean the beginning of the end of Europe's unified currency.

Germany, home to the Eurozone's strongest economy, has led the bailout negotiations, but yesterday, Chancellor Angela Merkel said her country's strength was not infinite and that weak governments needed to fix their finances.

Germany hasn't directly paid for the bailouts, but it does guarantee about 25 percent of the loans. Which means, if a country defaults, Germany and other EU lenders would be on the hook for paying that money to lenders.

To get some insight, we turn to Nicolas Veron, senior fellow at the Brussels-based think-tank, Bruegel.

Guest:

Nicolas Veron is a senior fellow at the think-tank Bruegel.


blog comments powered by Disqus