EU Commission dismisses IMF report criticizing handling of Greece's debt crisis

The European Commission is defending its handling of the Greek debt crisis against criticism made by the International Monetary Fund in an official report.

Spokesman Simon O'Connor said Thursday the European Union's institutions were in uncharted territory when the crisis broke over Greece's debt levels in 2010. He says restructuring Greece's debt early, as now suggested by the IMF, could have led to "devastating consequences" given that the eurozone back then had no appropriate firewalls yet.

The IMF on Wednesday acknowledged "notable failures" in handling Greece's 240 billion euros ($310 billion) bailout that have worsened the country's economic plight.

The EU Commission, the bloc's executive, joined with the IMF and the European Central Bank to form the "troika" of creditors that manages the bailouts for Greece, Portugal, Ireland and Cyprus.