ALL eyes are on Italy as prime minister Mario Monti, right, has slammed suggestions that his country will be the next to require a bail-out.
There are growing fears that Italy will join Ireland, Portugal, Greece and Spain on the list queuing up for EU bail-out funds.
While Italy's banks are not exposed to the housing crisis that has rocked Ireland and Spain, and its deficit is lower, there are fears the country's public debt mountain of €1.9 trillion may make it the next domino to fall.
But Mr Monti has slammed as "totally inappropriate" a suggestion by Austrian finance minister Maria Fekter that Italy may be forced to follow Spain into begging for a financial rescue.
Meanwhile the ECB has said that it doesn't expect a Greek exit. "We don't see that happening. We don't see that Greece will exit the euro area," vice-president Vitor Constancio said.