Voting starts in Greek election with Alexis Tsipras narrowly ahead in polls

The former PM’s Syriza party is only just ahead of his conservative rivals in the snap poll but the outcome is unlikely to change the country’s fortunes

Greeks have begun voting in an election whose outcome analysts say is too close to call and whose consequences will, for most people, be largely the same no matter who wins.

Related: Greek election 2015: everything you need to know

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Greece awaits outcome of Alexis Tsipras gamble: ‘We have all aged’

Polls suggest the embattled Syriza leader might just squeak home in Sunday’s snap election. But whatever the outcome, exhausted Greeks fear fresh turmoil ahead

At times Alexis Tsipras has the looks of a movie star, his clean-cut features belying a quiet charisma. From the posters pasted on the lamp-posts of boulevards and facades of buildings, it is his face that greets onlookers ahead of today’s crucial general election. “Tomorrow has an identity,” the posters say.

At 41, Tsipras is the Syriza party’s trump card. The hope is that even at this late stage – with polls showing the race to be so close the outcome is impossible to predict – the man adoringly referred to as Alexis will be the force that brings voters in. The ballot, the third this year, has drawn little publicity and even less enthusiasm, but it is poised to play a decisive role in a country whose battle against bankruptcy has assumed epic dimensions in recent years.

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Zero interest rate policy may be bad for Wall Street but it’s good for workers

Stock markets and investors may consider the Federal Reserve’s decision bad news, but it’s also a sign that they feel pressure on behalf of ordinary workers

It took them a day to absorb the news but by Friday investors across the world had decided that the Federal Reserve’s decision not to increase interest rates was bad news. Stock markets dropped as investors absorbed the Fed’s cautious tone about the world economy. But while Wall Street may not be happy, this weekend most workers should be breathing a sigh of relief.

For weeks we have been hearing from trigger happy economists and policy types, including some at the Federal Reserve, arguing that the Fed should start raising rates for the first time since the recession. Fortunately, for now at least it seems Fed chair Janet Yellen has chosen not to join this chorus. For at least another six weeks, the Fed will leave its zero interest rate policy in place.

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