Greeks were voting on Sunday in the first round of local elections, Reuters reported. It is also Prime Minister Antonis Samaras's first big electoral test since coming to power two years ago. Almost 10 million Greeks are eligible to vote to elect mayors, town councils and prefects for 325 municipalities and 13 Greek regions, with a run-off vote to be held on May 25.
After six years of recession and austerity measures that have pushed unemployment over 26 percent and shrunk incomes, the election is being fought as much on national issues like an unpopular EU/IMF bailout as on local issues.
This vote, along with European Parliament elections, are being closely watched as a gauge of sentiment towards Samaras's fragile coalition, which could be in jeopardy if the far-left Syriza and far-right Golden Dawn parties fare well.