Italy is the country most worrying European officials today. Earlier this month, they began discussing the possibility that the Italian economy, the fourth-largest in Europe, may end up needing a bailout, too. The cost of insuring its bonds is on the rise, its debt has steadily grown, and its stocks are declining. If Italy falters, it could have a significant impact on the core European economies.
Its sovereign debt ($2.5 trillion, according to the Monitor’s most recent figures) is the largest on the continent and the second-largest relative to GDP: 120 percent in April.