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Italian stocks closed 4.5 percent lower at 16,539 points on Monday, with bank shares leading the fall amid political tensions in Italy and Spain.
Italy's top bank UniCredit fell the hardest, losing 5.61 percent to 4.373 euros a share.
The country's third biggest lender, Monte dei Paschi di Siena, at the centre of a derivatives scandal, dropped 4.83 percent to 0.2208 euros.
Some analysts blamed the fall on uncertainty over the future of Monte dei Paschi, as well as populist comments by election candidate Silvio Berlusconi.
Spain's government is threatened by a corruption scandal meanwhile, and Italians are preparing to go to the polls on February 24-25.