If The Lira Collapses, Italy Could Follow Suit

As the lira slumped against the all-powerful German mark early this month, uild rumors sped around several Italian cities that the government would freeze bank deposits. Not only were some banks in central Rome besieged by worried depositors but also two small branches inside the Italian Parliament could barely keep up with an unprecedented wave of withdrawals. "If they are panicking in Parliament," says one Roman, "we're really in the mud."

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