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Greece submits new reform plan to EU and IMF

A Greek and a European Union flag billow in the wind as the ruins of the fifth century BC Parthenon temple are seen in the background on the Acropolis Image copyright AP

Greece has submitted a revised reform plan to the European Union (EU) and International Monetary Fund (IMF).

It comes days after Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras rejected a set of reforms put forward by EU Commission President Jean Claude Juncker.

The EU and IMF want further economic reforms before they release €7.2bn (£5.3bn) of bailout funds.

It is believed Athens has conceded ground on VAT reforms, pensions and the country's primary surplus target.

The reform plan comes a day before Mr Tsipras meets the French president and German chancellor.

Last week, Greece "bundled up" a €300m (£221m) payment to the IMF, delaying the payment until the end of June when a total of €1.5bn is due to be paid.

Among the plans being put forward by the government, it is believed Greece is willing to increase VAT, but still maintain three rates: a standard rate, a reduced rate for food and medicine and a further reduced rate for books and hotel accommodation.

The government has proposed increasing its three rates of VAT, according to Greek newspaper Ekathimerini.

Athens is also willing to move closer to creditor demands over the primary surplus as well, the newspaper reports.

The EU and IMF want the economy to run a primary surplus of 1% of GDP this year and 2% next year. Athens prefers a target of 0.6% of GDP this year and 1% next year.

Time running out

Another possible measure being put forward is thought to include a proposal to increase pensioner contributions to healthcare from 4% of their monthly income to 6%.

Creditors "are now in the process of studying" the list of "counter-proposals", sources told the AFP news agency.

Mr Tsipras warned earlier on Tuesday that a failure to reach a deal on Greece's bailout, which expires at the end of the month, would be the beginning of the end for the eurozone.

He is due to meet Germany's Angela Merkel and France's Francois Hollande on the sidelines of an EU-Latin America summit in Brussels on Wednesday.

Speaking at the G7 Summit in the Bavarian Alps in Germany, Mrs Merkel echoed the Greek premier's sentiments, warning that time was running out for a deal to keep Greece in the eurozone.

Europe would show solidarity but only if Greece "makes proposals and implements reforms", she said.

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, meanwhile, said it was time to stop finger-pointing and find an agreement.

The counter-proposals arrived two days after Mr Juncker complained the Greek prime minister had not fulfilled a pledge made at a meeting last week to send Brussels his plans.

He also accused Mr Tsipras of failing to respect "minimal rules" in their negotiations and refused to take a call from the Greek leader at the weekend, saying the Greek prime minister had to submit the promised alternative reform plan first.

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