Tourists are seen in front of ancient Acropolis hill in central Athens, on Friday, June 15, 2012. Tourism and shipping are among the pillars Greek economy. Both are under strain amid speculation about whether Greece will have to abandon the euro in a chaotic and possibly economically debilitating exit. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- Greeks have begun voting in their second election in six weeks, and arguably their country's most critical vote in 40 years, with its treasured place within the European Union's joint currency in the balance.
The political turmoil has roiled markets across the world, with fears that a vote on Sunday in favor of parties that have vowed to cancel the country's international bailout agreements and accompanying austerity measures could see it forced out of the euro. That in turn would likely drag down other financially troubled countries and rip apart the euro itself.
The last opinion polls published before a two-week pre-election ban showed the radical left Syriza party of Alexis Tsipras running neck-and-neck with the conservative New Democracy party of Antonis Samaras.
ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- A major fire south of the Greek capital is raging for the second day, with gale-force winds hampering firefighting efforts.
More than 150 firefighters and soldiers using more than 60 vehicles were battling the blaze south of Athens, along with two water-dropping planes and a helicopter. Greece has also asked Italy, France and Croatia for help in the form of more firefighting planes.
Three firefighters were injured on Saturday. Four people have been arrested for accidentally causing the blaze during welding work at a construction site.
By Saturday night, the fire was raging on a 12-kilometer (7.5-mile) front to the west and south of the town of Keratea, 50 kilometers (30 miles) south of Athens.
The blazes were being fought as Greeks voted in a national election that could determine whether their indebted nation stays in the euro.
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