NEW YORK (Reuters) - Europe's deleveraging process will take time and needs new areas of economic growth such as global trade, a top European Union official said on Monday.
Olli Rehn, the EU's economic and monetary affairs commissioner, said account deficits in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Greece are narrowing, arguing some countries will have to run surpluses "for a long time to come."
"The deleveraging process is going to take time, and we need to find new sources of growth to ease the burden of adjustment," he told a luncheon at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. "That's why opening up global trade opportunities is so very important."
(Reporting by Jonathan Spicer; Editing by James Dalgleish)