Italy represents a clear and present danger to the euro zone, British prime minister David Cameron said on Thursday.
"What is happening in Italy is a warning to any country, any government, without a credible plan to deal with excessive debts and excessive deficits. You need a plan and you need to stick to that plan," he said in a speech.
"Italy is the third-largest country in the euro zone. Its current status is a clear danger to the euro zone and the moment of truth is fast approaching," he added.
"If the leaders of the euro zone want to save their currenncy then they, the governments and institutions of the euro zone, must act now.
"The longer they delay the greater the danger."