European finance ministers are discussing a second rescue package for Greece - this one expected to be around $176bn.
Meanwhile, there are fears that the Greek debt crisis could spread to Italy.
Policy tensions between Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and his finance minister, Giulio Tremonti, are a major factor in the market jitters.
And a recent dramatic drop in Italian stocks and bonds has got people worried about what Italian media ominously call the "Athens Syndrome".
Al Jazeera's Paul Brennan reports from Brussels.