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Italy has moved to centre stage in the eurozone debt crisis.

While Greece generated a lot of noise, it is now seen as a sideshow.

Greece's debt problems are already widely known and the immediate consequences of a Greek default largely anticipated.

Moreover, the size of the Greek economy is small enough that the direct damage, if Greece stopped paying its debts, should be quite manageable for the eurozone.

Instead, the big fear is "contagion" - that a Greek default could trigger a financial catastrophe for other, much bigger economies - in particular Italy and Spain.

And it seems it is Italy that is now seen as the lead candidate for that contagion. But why is this? .