Syriza widens lead in polls as Greek election nears

Greece’s leftist Syriza party is holding its lead in opinion polls a week ahead of a key general election, amid signs that political uncertainty is taking a growing toll on the economy.

A survey published Sunday in newspaper To Vima shows antiausterity party Syriza’s lead over the ruling New Democracy widening slightly to 3.1 percentage points from 2.5 percentage points a week earlier — the first time it has widened its lead since November.

Greece’s coalition government — comprising New Democracy and its junior partner, the socialist Pasok party — was forced to conduct snap elections on Jan. 25 after the parliament failed in late December to agree on a new head of state.

Since political uncertainty has gripped Greece in the past few months, discussion about a possible exit by the country from the eurozone has been revived, given Syriza’s opposition to the austerity policies pushed by Greece’s international creditors.

The upcoming elections have also put on hold negotiations between Greece and representatives of its international creditors — the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank, also known as the troika — about a credit line to follow its €240 billion bailout.

 Varchev Traders

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