A family beg on a street on in Athens, June 13, 2012. Oli Scarff/Getty Images
On Sunday, Greeks will go to the polls for the second time in two months. The inconclusive election of May 6, in which no single party gained more than 20 per cent of the vote, reflected the views of an electorate deeply disillusioned with the two political parties that had taken turns to govern Greece since the end of military dictatorship in 1974 – New Democracy on the centre-right, and Pasok on the centre-left.
The far-left Syriza coalition, led by a young firebrand called Alexis Tsipras, surged into second-place, striking fear into the heart of Brussels with a promise to challenge the consensus that Greece had to stick to stringent austerity in order to please its European paymasters.
Billed as the election that could decide Greece’s fate in the eurozone, voters face an almost impossible choice this weekend – between the parties of an old, inept political order, and something new but untested. Here is some of the best news, analysis and comment on the subject from the FT and elsewhere: Read more
Welcome to our rolling coverage of the reaction to elections in France and Greece on a big day for Europe.
By Tom Burgis, John Aglionby and Esther Bintliff in London with contributions from FT correspondents around the world. All times are London time.
This post should update automatically every few minutes, although it might take longer on mobile devices.
16.52 That’s the lot of the live blog today. See FT.com for more news and analysis through the night.
We’ll leave you with a quick summary and some reading. Today:
- Markets reacted warily at first to the French and Greece results, although equities and bonds recovered through the day. The euro stayed weaker though
- Angela Merkel promised François Hollande a warm welcome in Berlin but said the eurozone’s fiscal pact was not up for re-negotiation. She also urged Greece to stick to the cuts programme agreed with lenders
- Greece’s political leaders wrangled over a possible coalition government after voters administered a thumping to the two biggest parties, leading to predictions of a fresh election and a potential move to tinker with the terms of the country’s €174bn bail-out
- Spain reversed course and said it plans to pump public cash into troubled lender Bankia
- Leftists from Dublin to Stockholm hailed the victory of a Socialist in France, with many seeking to use Hollande’s triumph to push for more pro-growth policies to temper European austerity