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Europe mulls handing back reins of reform to Athens.

Brussels is considering scrapping the troika that supervises Greek reforms to allow Athens to pursue its own plan to bolster the economy in return for a drip-feed of debt relief, European officials say.

The discussion, still in its early stages, will gather pace as Greece and its eurozone backers chart a new course for the country with its second European bailout programme due to end later in 2014.

Dismantling the troika, a trio made up of the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund and likened by some in Greece to the German Nazi occupation, would likely be central to the new plan for Athens.

After Ireland and Portugal exited bailouts earlier this year, the EU/IMF inspectorate is now only active with Greece and Cyprus and many experts have expected Athens to require further help. Switching to a "reform-for-debt-relief" scheme with lighter supervision could soothe public frustration and help bolster the coalition government at the expense of far-left opponent Syriza, which has promised to tear up Greece's international bailout agreement and is leading in the polls.

Under the latest thinking, policing by the troika could be replaced by a special task force from the European Commission with biannual check-ups rather than every three months, provided Greece does not require fresh funds. In return, Athens would commit to a six-year plan of reform, where milestones would be rewarded with debt relief.

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Publication:Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:4EUGR
Date:Aug 4, 2014
Words:247
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