Greece, OECD launch reform partnership

OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria (L) shakes hand with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras during Tsipras' visit to the OECD headquarters in Paris, March 12, 2015 (AFP Photo/Eric Feferberg)

Paris (AFP) - Greece announced Thursday it has officially launched a partnership deal with the OECD to draw up economic reforms, which Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said would help rebuild trust with international creditors.

"We have signed a document to reinforce our cooperation," Angel Gurria, secretary general of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development told reporters at its Paris headquarters.

Speaking alongside him, Tsipras said that working with the OECD on its reform programme "will be our passport to creating trust with our partners."

He joked that he felt "more comfortable" visiting the OECD "than some other institutions, especially the old troika," referring to its group of creditors -- the European Central Bank, European Union and International Monetary Fund -- whose team of auditors became hated in Greece.

With many promised reforms still incomplete, and the new Greek government freezing a number of key privatisation projects, Athens has not received the latest tranche of its bailout, and the state is now desperate for cash.

This month alone, Greece must find some 6.0 billion euros ($7.0 billion) to meet its debts -- including 1.5 billion euros to the IMF.

Gurria said they had discussed a wide range of reforms, including taxation, anti-corruption measures, boosting job creation and breaking the cartels that have a stranglehold on key parts of the Greek economy.

He emphasised that the new partnership should not be seen as the OECD replacing other international partners.

"Nobody is substituting anyone," said Gurria.

"The OECD has committed to offering the necessary technical assistance so these reforms are implemented in an effective way, both financially and socially."

Tspiras said there was no point pretending "there is no humanitarian crisis" in Greece.

"We can no longer pretend that the country's public debt is viable and serviceable," he added.

"After five years of economic decline and social hardship, our country remains in a desperate economic state."

Tsipras stressed that the eurozone "as a whole" was losing out from the Greek debt crisis.