The greatest uncertainty hanging over Europe this week is Greece, which holds a national election Sunday.
A political party that has a real chance of winning, the radical left-wing Syriza, has campaigned on a plan to refuse to live up to the terms of the country's $170 billion international aid package. If it were to do so, Greece could lose access to the money that is keeping the government solvent and be forced to leave the euro.
Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras aims to upstage the two main political parties that have agreed to the country's bailouts.
"The rotten and reliant establishment is making its last stand. Their dominance is ending after they looted the country and saddled it with debt," Tsipras said at a recent campaign appearance.
He says Greece can afford to reject its bailout terms because European countries would never risk letting the country go bankrupt, as that would cause havoc in financial markets.
But the high-stakes gamble has global markets on edge.
If Greece were forced out of the euro, its debts would go from being denominated in sturdy euros to being denominated in Greek drachmas of dubious value.
Worse, a Greek exit from the euro would raise fears that another European country such as Portugal or Italy might be next.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.