Exit polls released soon after voting ended on Sunday showed main opposition leader Nicos Anastassiades winning the presidential elections with a narrow margin, suggesting that the new government would embrace austerity measures and an EU-IMF bailout.
Anastassiades, head of the Democratic Rally party and supported partially by the centre-right Democratic Party and the nationalist European Party, was given an average 51.1% in the exit polls, that would give him a clear victory over the remaining ten candidates.
His main rivals in the runoff, communist candidate Stavros Malas and former Trade Minister Yiorgos Lillikas, averaged about 26% and 19% of the votes in the exit polls, respectively.
If the results are confirmed, Anastassiades will have to work fast and hard to revive confidence in a bankrupt economy facing a runaway public sector deficit and ensure a bailout estimated at about 17.5 bln euros, equal the island's gross domestic product (GDP).
Some 10 bln euros of the bailout will be used to rescue the banking sector that has had an excessive exposure to the Greek market and toxic Greek government bonds, something that the outgoing administration of communist president Demetris Christofias has refused to deal with.
Unemployment has reached record levels with youth unemployment estimated at 25%, as businesses keep on shutting down due to lack of funding from the banking sector.
Final results are expected at about 8.30pm local time (1830 GMT).
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