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    Debt Crisis Fears Reach Italy


    by NTDTelevision

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    The European Union's top finance officials hold important talks on Greece and the worsening situation in Italy. Some people are afraid that a Greek-style debt crisis may be approaching.

    The sun may be shining in Italy's capital but the economic forecast is distinctly gloomy.

    After Greece, Italy has the highest sovereign debt ration relative to GDP in the euro zone.

    And last week market fears about the country's economy triggered a large sell-off of Italian assets.

    Local media called the day Italy's "black Friday" - it left many in Rome nervous.

    [Maurizio Michelozzi, Rome Resident]:
    "I think we are quickly approaching situations like that of Greece. I hope not. I think, anyway, that we need to change government."

    [Giorgio Marella, Local]:
    "I think dangers are there. The situation is serious. Let's hope they manage to go back up."

    European markets opened weaker on Monday as a result of the fears but .
    Robert Halver is an analyst at Baader Bank.


    But not everyone was pessimistic.

    Professor Franco Pavoncello is from Rome's John Cabot Univerisity.


    Officially Greece not Italy was on the agenda at a meeting of top EU finance officials but EU sources said it would be hard to ignore Italy's plight.

    One official said the meeting was a "co-ordination" one " not a "crisis" one.


    The cost of insuring Italian debt against default jumped to a new record high on Monday while Greek, Portuguese and Irish debt costs also rose.

    Silvio Berlusconi's government has introduced tough austerity measures to try and tackle Italy's debt mountain.


    Either way the prospect of the debt crisis reaching Italy is now becoming a major concern. And the euro zone's existing financial rescue mechanism doesn't have nearly enough money to bailout its third largest economy.