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Greek election favourites debate

September 14, 2015 6:34 pm

The two main challengers in Greece’s elections are holding a televised debate, with polls suggesting they are neck-and-neck.

The leader of left-wing Syriza party, Alexis Tsipras, is facing Vangelis Meimarakis, of the centre-right New Democracy.

Mr Tsipras called Sunday’s snap election after securing a multi-billion euro bailout last month.

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Both parties drew 31.6% in a recent poll for ANT1 TV.

Little has separated the two sides throughout the campaign, meaning neither is likely to secure a parliamentary majority. Mr Meimarakis has suggested a grand coalition is possible, something ruled out by Mr Tsipras.

Analysts say the debate provides an important chance to win over the many undecided voters.

Mr Tsipras won power earlier this year pledging to end austerity, but was instead forced to accept a rescue package that included more cuts.

He is expected to say he will continue to fight against corruption and poverty, and told state broadcaster ERT on Sunday: “We fought for justice for the people more than anybody else.”

Mr Meimarakis is likely to argue Syriza has wrecked the economy during its period in office.

“No prime minister has done as much damage in as little time as Tsipras,” he told Ethnos daily.

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