Greek Voters Will Weigh in on Austerity on Sunday

Sunday’s national elections are widely seen as a vote on years of punishing austerity that its citizens have had to endure, and whether they can handle much more.

Back in 2010, the country accepted its first bailout: €240 billion ($277.8 billion) of international aid to rescue its battered economy. In return, Greece agreed to deep cuts in government salaries, tax hikes, a freeze on state pensions and bans on early retirement.

Nearly five years on, Greece’s economy is in better shape, but life for many Greeks is much worse. Unemployment has soared and wages have fallen even as people are working longer — all of which are fueling demand for change.

The anti-austerity Syriza party is expected to win the election. The party has attracted significant public support on promises to renegotiate bailout terms and deliver relief to fed up Greeks. But victory for Syriza would cast doubt on the still fragile country’s economic future.

So how far has Greece come since the start of its financial crisis?

via CNN

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza