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Greece to meet creditors to discuss debt reforms

Greece is set to present a series of proposals to international creditors in a bid to try to unblock a tranche of loans and avoid a debt default. Germany has said it is opposed to giving Athens any more loans.

Athens is scheduled to meet with international creditors again this week to discuss a series of reforms it hopes will unblock a new 7.2 billion euro ($7.8 billion) tranche of EU-IMF loans and avoid the debt ridden country from defaulting on repayments.

Three day talks between Greece and creditors in Brussels over the weekend failed to break any ground.

If Greece fails to secure funding from European partners it is set to run out of money by April 20.

Germany's central bank - or Bundesbank - head Jens Weidmann said Friday he opposed providing any further loans, accusing Athens of frittering away trust.

Berlin has been leading the push for European austerity, as Greece complained grueling budgetary cuts were damaging to its economy and threatened its eurozone membership.

Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said Sunday he hoped new talks with creditors would yield a "happy ending."

"I am confident there will be a happy ending soon to this first phase of the negotiations, and to normalizing the situation," said Tsipras, whose anti-austerity Syriza party took power two months ago.

Greece is now looking to China to boost its finances with Beijing set to buy 67 percent of Greek state shares in Piraeus Port, one of Europe's biggest container ports.

"Greece is now teetering on the edge of chaos with the population withholding tax payments and withdrawing money from the banks – and the possibility of Greece leaving the eurozone, which…would be an utter economic disaster for Greece," chief UniCredut economist Erik F. Nielsen warned.

Negotiations fail

Three days of negotiations between Greece and its creditors on a list of reforms to boost state revenue by three billion euros over the weekend did not reach a breakthrough.

The Greek delegation presented documents Saturday in electronic form on mobile devices, written only in Greek instead of the promised list of reforms.

"The list is much too vague, not credible and not verifiable," said an unnamed EU diplomat about Athens' proposals, which were presented orally on Sunday.

The European Central Bank, EU Commission and the International Monetary Fund set the reforms as a prerequisite to releasing funds.

The EU Commission is now awaiting a final list of reforms from Athens.

"We are expecting the list by the beginning to the week," Valdis Dombrovskis, the EU Commission vice president in charge of currency, told Germany's "Die Welt" online edition on Sunday.

jlw/lw (AFP, Reuters, dpa)

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