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Greece pushes utilities to lend government cash - Kathimerini

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece's cash-strapped leftist government is pushing major state utility firms to lend the government cash through short-term repo transactions as it scrambles to avoid running out of cash, the Kathimerini newspaper reported on Thursday.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras's government has already resorted to dipping into the cash reserves of pension funds through such transactions, officials told Reuters earlier this month.

Kathimerini, citing unnamed sources, said the government was calling on the main utilities, such as the Athens Water Co (EYDr.AT) (EYDAP) and the Public Power Company (DEHr.AT), to undertake repo transactions in which state entities lend money to the Greek debt agency through a short-term repurchase agreement.

Kathimerini also named the telecoms company OTE (OTEr.AT) as on of those that Athens could look to for cash, though the Greek state only holds a 10 percent stake in OTE. The company is 40 percent-owned and managed by the German telecoms giant Deutsche Telekom. PPC, EYDAP and OTE had no immediate comment.

Greece is urgently seeking to unlock remaining bailout funds from its creditors after it achieved a four-month extension to its international bailout programme in February on condition that it implements a series of reforms.

Tsipras was due to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande, European Council President Donald Tusk, the head of the Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and ECB head Mario Draghi in Brussels on Thursday evening.

(Reporting By Costas Pitas and Angeliki Koutantou, editing by Deepa Babington)