Greece 'will exit crisis, not the euro': conservative chief
(ATHENS) - Greece will overcome the crisis and stay in the euro, the head of the conservative New Democracy party Antonis Samaras vowed ahead of a general election Sunday critical for the country's economy.
"We will exit the crisis. We will not exit the euro. We will not let anyone take us out of Europe," Samaras, seen as a possible victor on Sunday, told thousands of cheering supporters in Athens' central Syntagma Square.
The country is readying for its second election in six weeks with all the top candidates now calling for various degrees of renegotiation of a bailout deal despite warnings that Greece must toe the line or leave the euro.
Samaras, 61, presents himself as the guarantor for Greece's membership in the eurozone although he says he wants to renegotiate the "memorandum" -- the bailout deal that has imposed harsh austerity conditions.
"If we break with our (EU) peers, they would force us to leave the euro, we would not be able to import anything, we would have to capitulate at much worse terms to secure our basic needs, it would be 10 times worse," Samaras said.
The New Democracy conservatives and Syriza radical leftists have been running neck-and-neck in the polls for an election which was triggered by the inconclusive vote on May 6 in which no party managed to form a governing coalition.
Unofficial recent polls have given a slight advantage to New Democracy.
Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras has called for the deal with Greece's EU partners, the European Central Bank and the IMF to be torn up although he has moderated his message in recent days and is now also calling for renegotiation.
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