Greek Voters Move To Centre Amid Downgrade
Greece's credit rating has been downgraded due to the "heightened risk" that the political and economic crisis could drag the country out of the euro.
Following the move, world stock markets suffered further steep falls - the FTSE 100 opened 1% down on Friday and there were deep losses in Asia overnight.
Debt-laden Greece was cut from a B- to a CCC rating by Fitch ratings agency on the same day it swore in a caretaker Prime Minister, Panagiotis Pikrammenos.
Meanwhile, across town David Beckham was being given the Olympic Torch for its onwards journey to London.
On such a busy day in Athens, one might easily have missed something quite significant.
In around the same hour as Beckham seized the torch and Fitch downgraded Greece, a poll came out suggesting the pro-Europe parties could get a majority in the next election.
It is the first bit of good news the centre parties have had in weeks and it could mark a significant turning point in Greece's future.
Up until now the far-left coalition Syriza had been gaining momentum and seemed set to win round two of the elections.
However, the MARC/Alpha survey suggests that if elections were held today, pro-austerity conservatives New Democracy (ND) would win with 26.1% of the vote, compared to Syriza's 23.7%.
What is more, the socialist party Pasok would get enough seats to help ND form a pro-austerity coalition with a 14-seat majority in the country's 300-strong seat parliament.
Polls last week had showed anti-bailout Syriza coming first in the election.
The top spot comes with a bonus of 50 seats, meaning the slightest edge could be pivotal in determining the makeup of the next government.
So what has changed? Perhaps nothing, it is just an opinion poll. But perhaps the warnings from Europe are beginning to permeate.
Or just maybe, Greeks have been shocked by the market reaction to the last election results and failure of parties to form a coalition.
On Thursday night, 16 Spanish banks were downgraded by Moody's - a move that was also likely to result in steep stock market falls across Europe.
The warning from President Karolos Papoulais that hundreds of millions of euros had been withdrawn from Greek banks since the election was also a considerable wake-up call.
The electorate is not easily swayed by external forces. Persistent warnings from the German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble seem to have been ignored.
But alarm bells have been sounded by what is happening at the banks.
There is no visible evidence of a public run on deposits in Athens. The cash points function and Northern Rock-style queues have not formed along the high streets.
But money is seeping out at an alarming rate and the past 18 months have seen deposits fall from 237bn euros to 165bn - a 30% decrease in assets.
Hedge fund manager Jason Manolopoulos told Sky News: "Right now the water is simmering, but once it goes to boiling point and people start panicking, that's when it's going to get dangerous.
"A lot of money is leaving the system. If it continues at the same rate it can go on for six months or more, but what happens if the rate increases?"
According to analysts, large investors and foreign business have for the most part already pulled out their Greek deposits.
But Mr Manolopoulos said: "Now there is a second middle class group that has started to worry. People with 100,000 to 200,000 in the banks."
Athens surgeon Bellos Kyrakos admitted he had already moved his savings to Switzerland.
"I'm not proud of it," he said. "But I'm worried about the banking system in Greece and a return to the Drachma."
That return to the old currency is the big fear looming over Greece, more so than even a week ago.
Greeks are starting to feel the burden of responsibility of these next elections. While attention was on France last time Greece voted, now the world spotlight is brightly on them and the consequence of their choice is becoming clearer.