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Greeks prepare to head to polls

Saturday, January 24, 2015 - 01:34

Greeks head for a snap election on Sunday which is likely to give power to the first euro zone government committed to scrapping austerity and unpopular reforms pursued during the country's worst economic crisis in decades. Justin Mitchell reports.

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After four difficult years of austerity, a monumental political shift could be coming in Greece... Left-wing party Syriza -- led by Alexis Tsirpas -- leads the polls in a snap election scheduled Sunday -- running on a message of canceling budget cuts and writing off the country's debt. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LEADER OF SYRIZA PARTY ALEXIS TSIPRAS, SAYING: "I think that tomorrow is a very important day, not only for Greek people but for European people. I'm very optimistic for a new beginning for Europe in order to regain democracy and social cohesion. And the victory of Syriza will be the victory of European people." Still, not all Greeks knew how they were going to vote. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HISTORY PROFESSOR, 31, GEORGE THEOTOKIS, SAYING: "I still haven't decided. I'm not 100 percent sure to be honest and it's less than 24 hours before the elections." Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said undecided voters could sway the vote. (SOUNDBITE) (English) GREEK PRIME MINISTER, ANTONIS SAMARAS, SAYING: "There are more than 14 percent undecided one day before the elections, and I believe that these people will decide for Europe, will decide for Greece, will decide for growth, will decide for stability, and this is why we are very hopeful." But many Greeks do not share that appraisal -- feeling exhausted by the years of austerity. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) PENSIONER, RENA, SAYING: "I can tell you that I will vote for those who make me feel safe in various ways - economically, emotionally, financially and socially protected." Syriza needs just over 40 percent of the vote to be guaranteed a majority -- otherwise, it would have to form a coalition with smaller parties.

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Greeks prepare to head to polls

Saturday, January 24, 2015 - 01:34