Greek lawmakers have failed to elect a new president in a final round of voting. As Sonia Legg reports it leaves the country facing a January 25th election that could derail the international bailout programme it needs to keep paying its bills.
Here we go again - after months off most investors' radars, Greece is back on it again - in a big way. The government has failed to win a key vote to chose a new president - and a snap general election must now be held. Greece's stock market fell 10% on the news - while bond yields topped 9% Chris Beauchamp is a market analyst at IG. SOUNDBITE: IG Market Analyst, Chris Beauchamp, saying (English): "I think people are very worried - you will see major ramifications coming through from this election." Greece had been on the verge of exiting its bailout. But polls suggest the anti-bailout Syriza party could win the election. It supports staying in the euro, but favours writing off much of the debt - something Greece's lenders are unlikely to accept. Prime Minister Antonis Samaras says that must be avoided. (SOUNDBITE)(Greek) GREEK PRIME MINISTER ANTONIS SAMARAS SAYING: "What parliament has failed to do, the Greek people will now have to do: to rid us of uncertainty, and re-establish stability in this country, to remain on a steady course of reform, and to exit the crisis and the bailout once and for all." The warnings from Europe came thick and fast. Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said Greece could only thrive with growth-friendly reform. But Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras doesn't agree. (SOUNDBITE)(Greek) OPPOSITION PARTY LEADER ALEXIS TSIPRAS SAYING: "Today the government of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, which has plundered society for two years and which had already committed to new measures, is history. With the will of the people, in a few days austerity bailouts will also be history." After years of blood, sweat and tears trying to keep Greece in the euro zone, most other members want it to stay. But the deal is different this time around. SOUNDBITE: IG Market Analyst, Chris Beauchamp, saying (English): "There is not so much sense of contagion that you had when the crisis was as it height - there's not the idea that if you let Greece leave you get all the other countries following suit as well. Greece will be treated very much as the experiment to see what happens to a country that leaves the euro zone." The current government hopes that won't happen, especially when there are finally signs of growth after six years of recession. But many of those who had to rely on the local authority for a meal on Christmas Day may see it differently.