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Greek Edition
Wednesday, June 13

Welcome to Kathimerini English Edition's live blog for the Sunday, June 17, general elections in Greece. We will be updating you with news and opinion throughout the week on what promises to be a crucial moment in the country's modern history.

22.12 It's time to wrap up the day's coverage of political developments ahead of Sunday's general elections. Our live blog will back tomorrow morning. Thank you for following.

22.06 Recreate Greece (Dimiourgia Xana) leader Thanos Tzimeros attacks "tough-guy posturing", "populist neo-nationalism" of the Left. His party, he says at preelection speech in Gazi, does not try to blame the West for Greece's own mistakes. The party has merged forces with Drasi and Liberal Alliance ahead of the Sunday vote.

21. 55 Speaking in Thisio rally, Democratic Left leader Fotis Kouvelis rejects unilateral abolition of memorandum, calls for gradual disengagement from the deal.

21. 45 During preelection speech in Gazi, central Athens, Drasi leader Stefanos Manos attacks SYRIZA. He says the left-wing party would not take the risk of scrapping the EU/IMF bailout deal and its implementations laws for that would be to jeopardize the perks and privileges of its patronage.

21.23
Speaking in the Spanish Parliament, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy calls for greater European fiscal and banking integration to save Spain and the eurozone.

20.40 "I am a friend of Greeks. I can't say something that would affect their choice. They have to vote what they believe is best," French President Francois Hollande says in interview with Mega TV.

You donít need a PhD in economics to understand that this multifaceted crisis -- which emerged in different ways in Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain, and will likely do so in the very near future in Cyprus and Italy and who knows where next -- demands that Europeans take steps toward the reinstitutionalization of the functional mechanisms within the common currency union, writes Thanos Dimadis | Europe's reinstitutionalization: The only way for the euro's survival

You can follow us on Twitter for news and instant updates concerning Greece's Sunday elections. Useful hashtag: #Greece2012

Here is a handy synopsis of the main policy recommendations put forward by the parties participating in the June 17 elections.

19.31
SYRIZA delegation briefed on foreign policy matters during visit to Foreign Ministry.

The euro might survive. But a cooperative Greek government, a real European program to support Greek economic growth and a resolution of the Greek public debt overhang are minimal conditions for the short term, writes Bruegel's Zsolt Darvas | Europe must offer Greece post-election prospects

18.37
Cyprus could seek up to 4 billion euros in financial aid if it turns to the European Union for help, but needs an immediate 1.8 billion euros to recapitalise Cyprus Popular Bank in the next few weeks, its deputy Europe minister tells Reuters

18.29
Greeks want to stay in the euro; they know its advantages have their price, Italy's Prime Minister Mario Monti tells Germany's ARD network.

Best piece you'll read on Greek election campaign that doesn't contain a single GDP figure | Fashion and duty: The politics of style

17.56
No layoffs for Greece's teaching staff, PASOK chief Evangelos Venizelos says after meeting with unions.

Many Greeks want the euro but reject austerity, though they would be foolish to give New Democracy and Pasok another chance. Our deputy editor Nick Malkoutzisin in today's Guardian | Eurozone crisis: Greece faces an agonising election choice

Alexis Papachelas on why Greece's worthy technocrats never really got the political attention they deserved | Who do we want?

17.22 Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti appeals to the country's politicians to support his tough economic measures to avoid Rome becoming the next victim of the euro debt crisis, as a bailout for Spain's banks fails to calm markets.

16.02 German newspaper Die Zeit is reporting that Greece will probably need a third bailout as early as this summer as reforms have fallen seriously behind. A government will need to be in place before a third bailout can be negotiated, the newspaper notes.

15.58 The trial of eight suspected members of the ultra-right Chrysi Avgi (Golden Dawn) is postponed until June 27 after the defendants fail to turn up at court. According to police and witnesses, the suspects had scuffled with campaigners handing out election leaflets before descending on a cafe frequented by leftists.

15.00 Civil servants will receive their pension payments in July, says caretaker labor minister Antonis Roupakiotis. Unsurprisingly, Roupakiotis said he could offer no assurances for payments in August and beyond.

14:53 The wife of ex-defense minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos, Viki Stamati, is clearly struggling in Korydallos Prison. Stamati, who is being detained pending her trial on charges of money laundering along with her husband, had lodged the latest in a series of appeals to be put under house arrest so she could look after her child. A court refused her appeal, prompting Tsochatzopoulos to rail against "an injust and inhumane" decision.

14.48 Four days before crucial elections, the gloves are really off: Conservative New Democracy leader claims that certain cells within leftist SYRIZA had applauded Dimitris Koufodinas, the convicted hitman and key member of disbanded terrorist group November 17.

13.38
Conservative New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras lashes out at rival leftist Alexis Tsipras for refusing to elaborate on the emergency plan he claims to have in the event that negotiations break down with international creditors. 'He says he doesn't want to talk about Plan B as he doesn't want the enemy to know, but what about the people?" Samaras says. The conservative leader adds that Tsipras has broken a world record by not giving a single statistic in the entire pre-election campaign.

12.17 Greeks are once again rushing to withdraw savings just a few days before crucial general elections that could determine the country's future in the eurozone, bank officials say with outflows having reached between 500 and 800 million euros in recent days.

10.52 In an op-ed in the Financial Times that quotes both US President Barack Obama and playwright Arthur Miller the leader of leftist SYRIZA Alexis Tsipras pledges to keep Greece in the eurozone and restore growth. "SYRIZA is the only political movement in Greece today that can deliver economic, social and political stability for our country," he writes.

10.00 British Treasury sources are playing down reports according to which Chancellor George Osborne told a business summit in London that German Chancellor Angel Merkel may sacrifice Greece to save the eurozone, according to British media. Sources were quoted as saying that Osborne had not been commenting on the prospect of a Greek euro zone exit but on the need for decisive action to protect the single currency.

ekathimerini.com , Thursday June 14, 2012 (08:35)  
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