Greece, OECD, sign cooperation deal on reform

[ATHENS/PARIS] Greece and the OECD group of industrialised nations signed on Thursday a cooperation deal aimed at helping the crisis-hit euro zone country carry out reforms, officials said on Thursday.

"The OECD will provide Greece with the know-how regarding the design and the implementation of reforms which are the priorities of the Greek government," a Greek official said.

"In the long term, (the OECD) will help the Greek side implement and evaluate not only the progress of the reforms but also their effectiveness."

An official at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development confirmed the deal had been signed.

The OECD think tank is not part of the EU/IMF/ECB troika that has saved Greece from bankruptcy but which is widely hated in Greece for imposing austerity.

The OECD has over the past years already provided Greece with a "tool kit" that essentially designs the reforms that have been required of Athens by international lenders.

A fresh deal with the OECD will allow the Greek government to detail and replace that tool kit with a new set of reforms.

Greece has promised its lenders to reform its state sector, to implement labour reforms, such as opening up closed professions, to make its economy more competitive, improve its tax administration and fight tax evasion and corruption, which have been widely blamed for the debt crisis.

Greek representatives started talks with official international creditors in Brussels on Wednesday, taking the first step towards an agreement on the reforms Greece must implement to unblock further aid as Athens runs out of money.

It is the first such meeting between Greece and its EU, ECB and IMF creditors since the new, left-led government in Greece took power at the end of January on a pledge to end the fiscal discipline that was the condition for almost 240 billion euros in loans that Athens has received since 2010.


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