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IMF official: Europe should look to restructure Greek debt

AMSTERDAM, Oct 8 (Reuters) - European countries should consider restructuring the Greek debt they hold if the country's financial burden proves to be unsustainable, an IMF executive director told a Dutch newspaper.

"A contribution from governments will then certainly be a topic of discussion," Dutch paper Het Financieele Dagblad quoted Menno Snel as saying in an interview published on Monday.

His comment highlights a key differences between the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund - Greece's "troika" of lenders - over how to solve its debt crisis.

European officials told Reuters late last month that the IMF is pushing them to restructure debts Athens owes them, an uncomfortable prospect for leaders who find the idea of their governments taking losses on the debt politically unpalatable.

Europe would prefer to give Athens more time to get back on track with its fiscal programme.

Snel is one of the 24 executive board members at the IMF, representing the Netherlands and 12 other countries from central and eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, and the Middle-East.

(Reporting by Gilbert Kreijger; Editing by John Stonestreet)

((gilbert.kreijger@thomsonreuters.com)(+31205045007)(Reuters

Messaging: gilbert.kreijger.reuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: EUROZONE GREECE/DEBT