Greece leads selloff in euro zone shares before vote
* Greek shares down 5.5 pct, weigh on Italian, Spanish stocks
* Investors nervous ahead of Greek presidential vote
* FTSEurofirst flat
By Francesco Canepa
LONDON, Dec 29 (Reuters) - Greek stocks fell sharply on Monday as caution prevailed ahead of a presidential vote that threatens the future of the country's international bailout.
If lawmakers fail to elect a successor to 85-year-old Karolos Papoulias, that would trigger a snap national election which polls suggest would be won by the anti-bailout Syriza party.
Such a victory, feared by many investors, would galvanise anti-austerity and Eurosceptic movements across the euro zone periphery, such as Spain's Podemos and Italy's Five-Star Movement.
Blue-chip indexes in Greece fell 5.5 percent at 0849 GMT and peers in Italy and Spain shed 1 percent, weighed down by falls in banks, which are heavily exposed to domestic economies and sovereign bonds.
Greece's Piraeus Bank National Bank of Greece and Alpha Bank were the top fallers in Europe as they shed between 10 percent and 12 percent. Continuación...