The chairman of Ferrari -- one of Italy's most prominent businessmen -- has urged Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to resign so that the country can deal with its debt crisis.
Luca Cordero di Montezemolo said Italy had reached "the point of no return".
He called for a "government of national salvation", in an open letter to the daily La Repubblica.
Put the brakes: Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, the Ferrari chief, said that if Italian PM Berlusconi continued to put his own ambitions before the good of the country, then his political journey would end in the worst way possible. File pic/getty images
Berlusconi is under pressure to speed up austerity measures amid feeble growth and a huge public debt.
He used to enjoy strong support among Italian business leaders but a growing number have begun calling for his resignation.
His image has been tarnished by sex scandals and a string of court cases.
Montezemolo said that "if Berlusconi continues to put his ambitions before the good of Italy" his political journey would "end in the worst way".
"There is not a minute to lose. Italians' savings, social cohesion and Italy's continued membership of the euro are at risk," he said.
Italy's public debt stands at 1.8 trillion euros, equal to 120 per cent of GDP.
At last week's eurozone summit EU leaders urged Berlusconi to fulfil his pledges on new austerity measures and reforms.
Berlusconi's popularity dips Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's popularity fell to the lowest since he took office, according to a poll. Confidence in Berlusconi fell two percentage points to 22 percent from a survey last month.