Greece has received most of the 240 billion euros in rescue loans ($326.3 billion) from eurozone countries and the IMF since losing access to bond markets in 2010. But austerity measures imposed as a condition to the bailout have hurt the economy, pushing unemployment above 27 percent and slowing efforts to bring debt down.

In Athens, Gurria handed Greek officials a series of proposals aimed at boosting market activity, from liberalizing Sunday trade to changing regulations for the shelf-life of milk.

A former Mexican finance minister, the 63-year-old economist said he was encouraged by Greece's progress in reducing debt and its pledge to implement 80 percent of the OECD's proposed market reforms.

"I would like to do the Mexican wave," he said, noting the achievements made. "There is life after debt, and clearly what we have to do is plan for that period."


AP Writer Nicholas Paphitis in Athens contributed.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

If you liked this article you might like

What's Behind the Surge in Energy Stocks

Hillary Clinton Says Prosecuting Individuals is Key to Wall Street Reform