It’s been awhile since Greece was front-page news, so here’s a refresher: A few years ago, it looked as though Greece might be forced to leave the euro zone, as investors lost faith in the country’s ability to pay its debts. In late 2011, 10-year Greek bonds were trading with a yield around 35 percent. The crisis began to dissipate in the summer of 2012, when the center-right New Democracy party eked out the narrowest of election victories and cobbled together a coalition that agreed to a bailout under harsh terms. Since then financial markets have eased considerably, although the economy is still in the gutter.
Greece may see elections early next year, and a new poll just out has the radical leftist Syriza party in first place by more than 3 percent. If Syriza takes power, the relative calm of Greek financial markets could be rocked.