Milan stock exchange near eurozone pre-crisis levels
FTSE approaching 20,000 point threshold last seen in July 201115 January, 15:39
The FTSE Mib rose 0.97% during the day to reach 19,921 points mid-afternoon, just shy of the level seen on July 5, 2011.
After that, financial markets were hit hard as the eurozone crisis began, combining a government debt crisis, a banking crisis and a growth-and-competitiveness crisis.
While the crisis started in Greece, it quickly struck at confidence in numerous other European markets - including Italy.
For months it was feared that Italy would fall into a Greek-style meltdown, a situation that led to the resignation of former premier Silvio Berlusconi in November 2011 and the appointment of a caretaker government headed by former European commissioner Mario Monti.