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Greece Seeks Joint Merkel-Hollande Talks on Bailout

  • Associated Press

Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras addresses the media at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, March 13, 2015.

Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras addresses the media at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, March 13, 2015.

The leader of Greece has called for joint talks with his counterparts from Germany, France and the European Union executive in the hope of getting past an impasse in the country's bailout negotiations.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras proposed the talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, a senior Greek government official told The Associated Press.

They would be held in Brussels on Thursday ahead of an EU leaders' meeting.

The request was made Tuesday, said the official, who spoke only on condition of anonymity pending official announcements.

There was no immediate response to the Greek request.

"I have now no confirmation of any particular meeting arrangements," EU Commission spokeswoman Mina Andreeva said. "This is now the moment for technical discussions between the experts including Greece, and we need swift progress on implementing the Greek reform commitments."

European creditor states are in talks with Greece on a list of reforms it should present in order to receive the next batch of rescue loans. The talks, however, are not progressing quickly and Greece faces a cash crunch in coming weeks.

Tsipras is already due to meet Merkel in Berlin on Monday and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on April 8.

Later Tuesday, Tsipras was to hold talks in Athens with U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland.

The prospect of a Brussels meeting saw Greek borrowing rates ease and shares on the Athens Stock exchange rebound from Monday losses, trading up nearly 2 percent in the early afternoon.

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