Now that Spain has asked for its bailout — up to 100 billion euros, or $126 billion — speculation is now shifting to Italy as the next euro zone nation that could ask for a handout.
Italy is slipping further into a recession — its fourth since 2001 — official numbers from Istat showed Monday. Gross domestic product slumped 0.8% in the first months of the year compared with the previous quarter, making for the worst tumble in three years.
By contrast, Spain’s economy tightened 0.4%, according to its central bank.
Exports and consumer spending were also down in Italy, Europe’s third-largest economy. Households have begun to lash out against austerity measures implemented...