Most probably more Maltese are following the surprising performance of the Greek national football team in Euro 2012 – including the win over Russia yesterday - than the elections that will be held today even if their outcome will effect what happens to the money paid by Malta to bail out Greece. If today the majority of Greeks votes to renegotiate the bail out terms or to default on its loans from other EU states, Malta risks losing €250 million.
A study by Nomura’s Jens Nordvig and Dimitris Drakopoulos published on 22 May 2012 shows that Malta’s exposure to Greece is 4.3% of its GDP, the highest of all 17 countries in the Eurozone. The average exposure for the 17 countries is 3.2% of their GDP. After Malta comes Estonia with 4.2%, Slovenia with 3.9% and Slovakia with 3.7%. The least effected is Luxembourg with 1.8%.
Greeks are going to the polls again today in crucial elections which could determine the country's future in the eurozone.
The main contenders, the left-wing Syriza and right-wing New Democracy, are at odds over whether broadly to stick with the tough EU bailout deal, or reject it and boost social spending.
EU leaders say that to reject it would lead Greece out of the eurozone.
The poll, the second in six weeks, was called after a vote on 6 May proved inconclusive.
Sunday's vote is being watched around the world, amid fears that a Greek exit from the euro could spread contagion to other eurozone members and send turmoil throughout the global economy.
Tough austerity measures were attached to the two international bailouts awarded to Greece, an initial package worth €110bn euros in 2010, then a follow-up last year worth €130bn euros.
Many Greeks are unhappy with the conditions attached to deals which have been keeping Greece from bankruptcy.
Germany, which has the eurozone's most powerful economy, insists Greece, like other member-states which have received international bailouts, must abide by the austerity conditions.
On the eve of the vote, Chancellor Angela Merkel said: "It is extremely important that tomorrow's Greek elections lead to a result in which those who form the government say, 'Yes, we want to keep to our commitments."
Chancellor Angela Merkel was one of several European leaders who took part in a video conference on Friday ahead of a G20 summit, starting in the Mexican resort of Los Cabos on Monday, which is set to be dominated by the eurozone crisis and the aftermath of the election.
The head of New Democracy, Antonis Samaras, told supporters on Friday that he would lead the country out of the financial crisis, while staying in the eurozone.
He broadly accepts Greece's international bailout, but says he will renegotiate the terms of the agreement to seek a better deal for Greeks.
"We will exit the crisis; we will not exit the euro. We will not let anyone take us out of Europe," Mr Samaras said.
The youthful head of Syriza, Alexis Tsipras, rejects the bailout, but wants Greece to stay in the eurozone, saying a bailout is possible without the kind of drastic cuts demanded of Greece.
"Brussels expect us, we are coming on Monday to negotiate over people's rights, to cancel the bailout," he told a final rally on Thursday.
The vote is likely to leave big questions for Europe's leaders when they meet for an EU summit at the end of the month in Brussels.
Sources: Nomura Bank, BBC News.