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Greek PM due in Brussels for debt talks amidst competing reform plans

Greece's prime minister will meet EU Commission chief Juncker to discuss his government's proposal to unlock the last of its debt relief. Greece's creditors, unimpressed by Athens' plan, have drafted their own framework.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will be in Brussels on Wednesday to meet with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to discuss his government's proposal to secure a long-awaited agreement with his country's lenders and unlock the last round of much-needed bailout funds.

The announcement from Tsipras' office early Wednesday followed an earlier statement that Athens had submitted a 47-page proposal to its three creditors; the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Central Bank (ECB) and the EU.

"It is now clear that the decision for whether they want to adapt to realism and emerge from the crisis without the division of Europe…belongs to the political leaders of Europe," the prime minister said, noting that his government had made considerable compromises.

Creditors come up with competing proposal

For the last four months, Tsipras' radical left-wing government has been locked in a stalemate with the IMF, ECB and EU over how far Greek financial reforms must go in order for the economically struggling nation to access the last 7.2 billion euros (8 billion dollars) in rescue loans.

Without these loans, Greece could default on its debts, forcing it to drop out of the euro currency bloc and sending both the European and global economies into uncharted territory.

Athens' proposal met with an optimistic but tepid response from lenders. "We are nowhere near far enough," said Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who also heads the meetings of the eurozone finance ministers.

Greece's creditors, meanwhile, announced late Tuesday that they had drafted their own proposal following an emergency meeting on Monday evening in Berlin attended by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande, IMF Chief Christine Lagarde and her ECB counterpart Mario Draghi.

"It covers all key policy areas and reflects the discussions of recent weeks," a senior EU official told the Reuters new agency. A different official also told Reuters that Merkel and Hollande would put their plan to Tsipras by telephone ahead of Wednesday's meeting to try and secure his acceptance as soon as possible.

es/cmk (AP, Reuters)

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