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Greece's Tsipras calls Juncker, first time since last week: official

18 june 2015, 11:23

 Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday, their first contact on the stand-off over a bailout deal since last week, a European official said, AFP reports.

"Tsipras called Juncker. They spoke for a few minutes and agreed to talk later, no date was set," the official told AFP, a day after Juncker accused Tsipras of lying to the Greek people about the negotiations.

The last time they spoke was on Sunday, the official said, the day that talks between Athens and its EU-IMF creditors in Brussels collapsed and further raised fears of a Greek default and possible euro exit.

Juncker and Tsipras would speak again "in coming days", the official said.

The call came on the eve of a crucial meeting of eurozone finance ministers in Luxembourg that will be dominated by the crisis.

Greece's leftist Syriza government has rejected reforms demanded in exchange for the final tranche of its international bailout, which expires on June 30, the same day that a huge payment to the IMF is due.

Former Luxembourg premier Juncker has been acting as a bridge to radical leader Tsipras during the five-month crisis, but the pair have fallen out spectacularly on a number of occasions recently.

The tensions burst into the open on Tuesday during a Juncker press conference in Brussels.

"I didn't have contacts with the Greek government since Sunday night when I stopped the negotiations because the negotiations given the Greek position were leading nowhere," Juncker said.

"I am blaming the Greeks for telling things to the Greek public which are not consistent with what I told the Greek prime minister," he added.

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