Fitch ratings said on Tuesday Italy is in the brink of having its credit rating cut, stating that taking out the crisis premium means a credible firewall.

Fitch is also putting a number of euro area economies, including France and Spain, under review for a possible downgrade at the end of the current month.

However, the rating agency expects France to retain its top rating, saying that we are unlikely to downgrade France in 2012 unless there is a serious intensification of the euro zone crisis.

Finally, Fitch predicts the euro area to relapse into a shallow recession this year as the severe spending cuts by governments are likely to continue affecting businesses and households consumption and confidence, commenting that the risk of a vicious cycle of a stagnating economies fueling worries over the solvency of some governments and banks.