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Italy warns of potential disaster as yields rise

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BRUSSELS — Italy's prime minister has warned of a potential disaster for the European Union if its leaders don't cooperate and find a way to keep interest rates on Italy's national debt down.

Speaking after his arrival in Brussels for a summit of European leaders, Mario Monti leveled thinly-veiled criticism at German leader Angela Merkel, who has rejected calls for any form of debt sharing to solve Europe's debt crisis.

Monti said Italians have made great sacrifices and gotten their country's deficit under control. But yields on Italian debt soared to one-year highs anyway Wednesday.

If Italians become discouraged, it could unleash "political forces which say 'Let European integration, let the euro, let this or that large country go to hell'," Monti said. "Which would be a disaster for the whole of the European Union."