The infamous “spread” – the difference between the yield of Italian bonds and German Bunds – rose 287 points while the Milan stock exchange fell 4 per cent. According to the centre-left daily it is a consequence of the turmoil around the Monte dei Paschi bank and of Silvio Berlusconi’s “irresponsible demagogy”, including the promise to refund the tax on houses introduced by incumbent PM Mario Monti.

Repubblica quotes a report by JP Morgan warning that Berlusconi, who is steadily rising in polls in the run up to the February 24-25 election, could make Italy a “risk for Europe” again.