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Central Banks 'On Standby' As Greek Elections Loom

The European Central Bank "is on standby to keep banks flush with liquidity" if Greeks effectively vote on Sunday to support politicians who want to reject austerity measures and pull the nation out of the eurozone, The Financial Times writes this morning.

The ECB joins "a global chorus of central bankers pledging support ahead of Sunday's elections," the FT adds.

Whether there will be a clear outcome on Sunday is uncertain, however. On Morning Edition, NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reported that no single party is expected to win an outright majority. The electorate is divided between those who will vote out of fear for the establishment New Democracy party, and those who find hope in the upstart leftist Syriza party, which vows to ditch the painful terms of Greece's financial bailout.

Also today, The Associated Press looks at "the ripple effects if Greek were to leave the euro." Observers think that if central banks can't manage the situation, "the path of a full-blown crisis would start in Greece, quickly move to the rest of Europe and then hit the U.S. Stocks and oil would plunge, the euro would sink against the U.S. dollar, and big banks would uncover losses on complex trades."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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