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Eurozone focus switches to Italy

THE spotlight in Europe has switched away from Ireland to Italy where there are fears that the crisis could spread.

European Council president Herman Van Rompuy (right) called an emergency meeting of top eurozone officials.

The two key issues central to Ireland's case -- lowering the interest rate on bailout loans and 'burning' some senior bondholders -- will take a back seat as Europe's finance ministers grapple with Greece and Italy.

European Central Bank president Jean-Claude Trichet will attend the meeting this morning along with Jean-Claude Juncker, chairman of the region's finance ministers, European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso and Olli Rehn, the economic and monetary affairs commissioner, three official sources revealed.