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Troika remains essential, says Rehn

Europe needs the combined expertise of the IMF, the European Central Bank and the European Commission in handling the euro zone debt crisis, the EU's economics chief said on Thursday, dismissing suggestions the 'troika' should be disbanded.

"The troika was set up on the initiative of the euro area member states in 2010 as a key element of our response to the crisis facing Greece," Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said in comments emailed to Reuters.

"None of these situations are easy," he said, referring to the programs in Greece, Portugal, Ireland and Cyprus that the troika is now overseeing. "But that makes it all the more important that we can draw on the combined and complementary expertise of three institutions."

Earlier this week, the EU justice commissioner, Viviane Reding, called for the troika to be dissolved saying it had run its course and that Europe did not need the International Monetary Fund to resolve its problems.

Rehn said teams from the three institutions worked well together, "often in the most challenging of situations". Any reassessment of how it operates was for the future only.

"We should certainly explore ways to optimize the governance of the euro area, including its crisis management mechanisms," he said, adding: "That will be the right time and context to discuss whether and in what form to maintain the troika model." [Reuters]

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