There was a wide-ranging change of the guard in Europe and the Middle East in 2011. Here are 10 other elections that could change the game of global politics in 2012.
Having seen its influence on global markets ebb in recent months Greece now finds itself at the eye of the storm again, following an inconclusive election result that saw voters reject austerity and the terms of its bailout from the European Union and International Monetary Fund.
The risk of Greece exiting the euro zone have risen to as much as 75 percent, according to economists at Citi. Describing such an outcome as a “Grexit,” the Citi team said, however, that the chances of a broad-based break-up of the euro zone remain very low.
Elections in Greece on Sunday could throw the country into disarray once more, unsettling investors who believed that a deal struck earlier this year to restructure the country’s debt and avert a default marked the end of a major chapter in the euro zone debt crisis.
May Day, Europe’s equivalent to the U.S. Labor Day, is traditionally a protest day, a symbol for workers and trade unions, but upcoming elections in France and Greece are bringing a new level of political importance to the annual holiday.
The front-runner for the French presidency, the Socialist candidate François Hollande, said on Wednesday that if elected he would ask other European leaders to renegotiate a fiscal treaty in order to promote growth, the New York Times reports.