First Greece, then Portugal and now Spain.

The debt crisis is spreading across Europe - and threatens the stability of a number of countries as well as the future of the euro zone.

International Monetary Fund chiefs are meeting German politicians to broker a deal that could pull Greece back from the brink and perhaps prevent a chain-reaction that would devastate the region and also possibly the UK.

IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn said the stability of the euro zone itself was in danger. "We need to act swiftly and strongly," he said.

Strauss-Kahn's comments follow the down grading of Portugal and Spains credit ratings at the same time as Greece was given "junk" status.