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Greek Anti-Austerity Party Syriza Holds Lead Before Snap Election

Athens, January 16 (RHC)-- A recent opinion poll shows that Greece's anti-bailout opposition party Syriza holds a lead over the ruling conservatives, and is expected to grab the largest share of votes in this month's snap general election.

According to the survey by pollsters with Pulse for Action 24 television and published on Thursday, Syriza would get 31.5 percent of the vote against 28 percent for the liberal-conservative political party New Democracy of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.

The results came a day after the Alco poll for the newspaper To Pontiki revealed that Greek leftist party Syriza holds a steady 3.5-point lead over the ruling conservatives. The survey, conducted between January 11 and 13, further indicated that Syriza would garner 32.4 percent of the vote against 28.9 percent for Samaras' New Democracy party.

Syriza would receive 142 of the 300 seats in the parliament should Greeks cast their ballots in the January 25 election as surveys forecast. That means an overall parliamentary majority would be still out of Syriza's reach as the leading party must usually collect between 36 and 40 percent of the vote to win outright.

Samaras has warned that the cash-strapped country may be forced out of the eurozone if Syriza wins parliamentary polls later this month. Syriza leftists have consistently topped opinion polls in recent months, promising to reverse austerity measures that secured an international bailout by the so-called troika of the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission, and the European Central Bank.

Greece nearly went bankrupt in 2010, only to survive on international rescue packages. It has received 240 billion euros (USD 330 billion) in international loans.

Edited by Ivan Martínez
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