Greek PM to meet EU chief on Friday

[ATHENS] Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will meet with EU chief Jean-Claude Juncker on Friday, his office said on Monday, hours ahead of key talks on Athens' financial lifeline.

Mr Tsipras and Juncker will discuss "how Greece can utilise European funds to address the humanitarian crisis," the Greek PM's office said.

Mr Tsipras will be in Paris from Thursday to address the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development "on the reforms in Greece to restore civil administration, address tax evasion and restore social justice," it said in a statement.

Greece's new radical government, which is facing a cash squeeze, is trying to persuade its international creditors to agree on an alternative pain-free reform plan by April.

The OECD is advising Athens on the reform proposals.

Eurozone finance ministers are discussing some of these proposals in Brussels on Monday, with Athens warning of a possible referendum if they are rejected.

The Greek measures include plans to streamline bureaucracy, raise revenue from online gambling and, in a widely derided suggestion, hire an army of amateur tax sleuths - including tourists - to help clamp down on tax dodgers.

But Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem has said that Greece's reform plans were "far from complete".

The last time Greece threatened a referendum on its bailout in November 2011, it sent global markets into panic, infuriated its European partners and led to the fall of then prime minister George Papandreou.


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