Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras faces a vote in parliament on Monday that will decide whether the country goes to snap elections that could bring the leftwing Syriza party to power and derail an international bailout. In the most hotly contested vote for president since Greece joined the euro more than a decade ago, the result in the final round of voting is likely to be decided by a small handful of deputies. If lawmakers fail to elect a successor to 85-year-old Karolos Papoulias, a snap election will be held within weeks. Syriza, leading in the opinion polls, vowed again to renegotiate the joint European Union-IMF bailout bailout Greece needs to pay its bills and roll over its debt.
Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras said he had growing support in other countries struggling in the crisis. “In Europe, sentiment is changing. Everyone is getting used to the idea that Syriza will be the government and that new negotiations will begin,” he wrote in his party newspaper on Sunday.
With financial markets watching closely, former European Commissioner Stavros Dimas, the only candidate in the race, will need 180 votes to be elected. In the previous round of voting, he secured 168 votes, 12 short of the supermajority required.