ATHENS, Greece — Six years of deep recession, galloping unemployment and repeated income cuts have jolted the average Greek out of a relatively comfortable — albeit often credit-fueled — lifestyle.

For many, Sunday's national elections are payback time for any party involved in government since the crisis broke in 2009, unleashing waves of unpopular austerity measures demanded by Greece's international creditors in return for keeping the country afloat.

A modest economic recovery in 2014, coupled with a dip in unemployment, looks unlikely to halt the rise of Syriza, the left-wing main opposition party that enjoys a steady lead in opinion polls.

Even then, voters — from a coffee shop owner to a jobless journalist-turned-dog trainer — photographed by The Associated Press hold little hope that their fortunes will improve greatly in the near future.