World leaders battle to calm money market fears
World leaders are battling to calm panic in the global money markets ahead of Monday morning's opening, reports Sky News.
Prime Minister David Cameron broke into his holiday to discuss the crisis in the financial markets with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Unconfirmed reports also suggested that finance ministers or senior officials of the G7 group of industrialised nations may hold a conference call today to discuss the turmoil in the eurozone and the downgrading of the US's AAA credit rating.
Speculation has been rife that Italy will be the next eurozone country in line for a bailout, but Italy's financial woes differ from other countries in the euro.
A housing bubble brought Spain and Ireland to the brink, while low interest rates fuelled out of control spending in Greece.
But in Italy, there's an enormous debt mountain, equivalent to 124% of the country's annual gross domestic product.
The overdraft started to grow in the 1970's, and ballooned in the 1990s after the lira was targeted by speculators.
Italymanaged to rollover that debt by issuing government bonds to raise more cash, but that conveyor belt is slowing down.
Jitters in the financial markets means potential purchasers of those bonds are demanding a higher level of interest.
That cost of borrowing will trickle down to all consumers who will find loans, like mortgages, more expensive.
Italy's already tepid rate of growth could suffer which worries Sandra Bottoni, a fruit seller in Campo de' Fiori.
"People my age are more or less able to cope, but what about young people? I have kids aged 18 and 23.
"What kind of future are we giving them?" she told Sky News.
Some blame a lack of market reform and political inaction for Italy's inability to reduce the debt and generate economic growth.
Federigo Argentieri, adjunct associate professor of political science at John Cabot University, says the country is out of step with the global economy.
"Italy is the country which invented capitalism, but it seems to have been unable to implement it," he said.
"It has not gone through the bourgeoise revolution, in many respects, it is still medieval."
Business people say successive Italian governments may have cut spending and the tax burden, but they have failed to stimulate the sluggish economy.
We found little love for politicians of any hue, especially from restauranteur, Pierluigi Roscioli.
"Italian politicians are basically aloof. They float over the sea of Italian problems, but they never dip into it.
"They only have a superficial idea of the country's issues."
There is still plenty of conspicuous spending in the land of luxury goods. Unemployment is relatively low, as is the annual budget deficit of 4%.
But if Italy can't afford to raise enough cash to rollover its debts, the Eurozone would struggle to finance a bailout.
That could leave the currency in crisis and the home of a once triumphant empire in need of a helping hand.