Greek counter-proposals to focus on budget issues - govt official

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek counter-proposals to the country's international creditors on a cash-for-reforms deal will focus on budget issues and Athens hopes an agreement can be sealed by June 18, a government official said on Friday.

Requesting anonymity, the official said the government refused to raise the value-added tax rate for electricity as demanded by the European Union and IMF lenders.

Earlier, another official said Athens was ready to submit the counter-proposals and would restart negotiations in Brussels on Saturday. Athens is hoping to strike a deal at a meeting of the Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers on June 18.

"We insist on our position on (not having) a VAT rise in electricity," the first official said. "They will (the proposals) focus on fiscal issues."

The official also denied reports that the scenario of Greece leaving the euro zone was being discussed at the EU.

Several EU officials have told Reuters that the scenario of a Greek default on its debts was discussed at a meeting of representatives of euro zone member states on Thursday. That marked the first such formal discussion of the scenario at a senior EU level.

(reporting by Renee Maltezou, writing by Matthias Williams, editing by David Stamp)