July 17, 2013 / 1:26 PM / 6 years ago

ECB's Asmussen rejects call for troika to be abolished

Executive Board Member of the European Central Bank, Jorg Asmussen, speaks at an event at Thomson Reuters entitled 'Europe's Unfinished Banking Union' in the Canary Wharf business district of east London June 9, 2013. REUTERS/Richard Burton

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - European Central Bank policymaker Joerg Asmussen rejected on Wednesday a call from the EU justice commissioner for the “troika” of the European Commission, ECB and International Monetary Fund to be dissolved.

Commissioner Viviane Reding, said on Tuesday “the time of the troika is over”, arguing that in future Europe must resolve its problems without the IMF.

But Asmussen, a member of the ECB’s Executive Board, said there was no other immediate option.

“There is, in the short-term, no functional alternative to the Troika,” he told newspaper Rheinische Post’s online edition.

“The Troika also works very well together, as one sees on the ground in Athens, for example,” he said. “There is no reason, in the middle of the crisis, to change this proven structure.”

The paper reported Asmussen as adding that in the long-term, European alternatives could be considered.

The troika negotiates with countries in crisis, such as Greece, Portugal and Ireland, on austerity and reform measures they must undertake in return for financial bailouts. It also supervises the implementation of such steps.

Germany and Finland have insisted on the IMF’s involvement in crisis management, although German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said last month that the IMF’s involvement could not be a permanent solution. He said, however, that it would only be able to withdraw in the long-term once current programs had come to an end.

Other European officials, including Klaus Regling, head of the euro zone’s bailout fund, have also said the IMF should not play a role in the longer term in euro zone rescue packages.

Writing by Paul Carrel; Editing by Catherine Evans

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