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Mohamed A. El-Erian

Italy Isn’t Like Greece. It’s Better and Worse.

The first’s economy is in better shape, but it’s also much bigger and poses a far greater systemic risk.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte is under pressure.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte is under pressure.

Photographer: Simona Granati/Corbis via Getty Images

After four successive days of increasing risk spreads, and after a prominent politician, Claudio Borghi, said there was an advantage to having your “own currency,” Italy is back squarely on both public and private radar screens as a potential source of systemic economic and financial disruptions. This has led to suggestions that the country could become “a new Greece.”

While there are similarities between the Italian and Greek cases, the differences are big enough to suggest that investors in Italy should focus on a different set of factors.