Greece: Election campaign starts with dispute between politicians over bailout debt payments

The campaign for Greece's general election next month is now underway, with the country's conservative prime minister claiming his anti-bailout opponents would "lead the country to default."

Antonis Samaras was responding to televised remarks by an official of the left-wing Syriza party that it would freeze interest payments on international bailout loans unless Greece was granted better terms on its 240 billion euro ($291 billion) rescue program.

Leading opinion polls, Syriza has promised to re-negotiate the bailout agreements, while insisting that it would avoid taking unilateral actions against leaders from other eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund.

The party did not comment about Samaras' remark but accused the government of "stale fear mongering."

Parliament was formally dissolved Wednesday ahead of the Jan. 25 election.