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Greece seeks joint talks on bailout

Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras has called for joint talks this week with German chancellor Angela Merkel, French president Francois Hollande and senior European Union officials on troubled bailout negotiations threatening his country's economy.

A senior government official said the request was made during a telephone call between Mr Tsipras and European Council president Donald Tusk.

The talks would also include European Central Bank president Mario Draghi and EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, and would be held in Brussels on Thursday ahead of an EU leaders' meeting.

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

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 to receive the next batch of rescue loans. The talks, however, are not progressing quickly and Greece faces a cash crunch in coming weeks.

The prospect of the Brussels meeting saw Greek borrowing rates ease and shares on the Athens stock exchange rebound from Monday losses.

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