Greeks head to the polls on Sunday and have a number of issues to mull over when casting their votes for the fifth time since 2010, and the first since Greece has exited the bailout.

Below are three issues that will determine the result.


Crisis-crippled Greeks that backed the Coalition of the Left SYRIZA party in 2015 were swayed by promises that the party would scrap bailout agreements and ask for a debt write-off after the Greek economy had shrunk by 28 per cent and unemployment had shot up.

A referendum followed where Greeks gave Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras the mandate to reject the terms of the bailout before he scrapped the result of the referendum by making a U-turn on promises and bringing the harshest reforms yet. The imposition of the capital controls were just the next nail on the coffin.

Rather than celebrate Greece’s exit from the bailout, Greek voters are disappointed that the party that rose to power on a strong anti-establishment platform implemented draconian austerity measures and broke its promises. Despite exiting the crisis, the country has suffered many losses including a huge brain drain, a huge slash to the GDP and high unemployment rates.

READ MORE: Greek Elections 2019: ND-SYRIZA parties, policies and people put to the crash test


Despite a dramatic fall in refugees arriving in Greece since the 2015 agreement between the EU and Turkey to stem the flow, there are still huge numbers showing up. Greek islands such as Lesbos and Samos are overflowing with arrivals that numbered 50,000 people last year. According to the agreement, Greece can send refugees whose asylum claims have been rejected back to Turkey.

Conservative Opposition New Democracy party leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis has visited camps on the most affected islands and has pledged to ensure that the EU agreement with Turkey is adhered to.

READ MORE: Watch the Greek political ad campaigns for the 2019 elections


SYRIZA”s popular suffered a blow, especially in northern parts of the country, as a result of the Prespes Agreement that ended the three-decade name dispute between Greece and its northern neighbour. The agreement of the name North Macedonia from the formal name of Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia left many Greeks unhappy because of the confusion caused by its proximity to the Greek region of Macedonia and the neighbouring country’s push to use Macedonian symbols from antiquity.

According to opinion polls, there are more than two-third of Greeks unhappy with the name row.

In another controversial move that is viewed as an effort to appease Greeks in the north, the Greek government approved a large sum of money for three football clubs via state broadcaster ERT in the form of TV rights. The money was approved by the management of state broadcaster ERT for champions PAOK (€ 10.5 million), AEK (€ 10.5 million) and OFI (€ 2.5 million). The move is viewed by many as a questionable one as it comes just before the elections and targets PAOK, a Thessaloniki team.

READ MORE: PanMacedonian Associations of Australia will continue efforts to annul Prespes Agreement

On his part, Mr Mitsotakis has a personal stake in this story. His father, Konstantinos Mitsotakis, lost his job as prime minister in 1993 because of the name row. He has stated opposition to the agreement, but would still implement it.