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Beppe Grillo: populist who could throw Italy into turmoil at general election
Guardian ^ | Sunday 10 February 2013 | John Hooper in Udine

Posted on 02/13/2013 9:38:30 AM PST by Pan_Yan

...

After fading in the polls, Grillo's Five Star Movement (M5S) is surging back, its cause boosted by the scandal at Italy's third-biggest bank, Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS). Since MPS was always beholden to the left, the scandal proves to many Italians what Grillo has always claimed – that Italy's politicians are all the same and, in a phrase he used several times at his rally, should be mandati a casa – sent packing.

...

No one with a conviction – and that includes Grillo, found guilty of manslaughter after a fatal accident – can be an M5S parliamentary candidate. Nor will his movement take public subsidies. Its regional parliamentarians in Sicily, where it topped the poll in an election last year, bank only 30% of their salaries, he said. The rest goes into micro-credit schemes for small businesses.

...

Like Silvio Berlusconi, and unlike almost every other Italian politician, Grillo understands that people who turn out for political meetings want to be amused while they are hectored. And hector them he does, bombarding them with facts and figures to illustrate the state of their country: Italy, he told his audience, had 350,000 laws, 9m court cases pending, and a third of all the lawyers in the EU.

...

But if the M5S's support grows at the same pace as in recent weeks, it could be in a position to stop both left and right from wielding a majority – an outcome that would no doubt panic the markets and trigger a new eurozone crisis, since Grillo has ruled out any coalition with the established parties. It would also place an awesome responsibility on the M5S's new politicians. Without exception, they are political newcomers chosen by other members of the movement in an internet ballot.

(Excerpt) Read more at guardian.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: eu; grillo; italy
Things will get mighty interesting if Grillo's party can block the formation of a new government.
1 posted on 02/13/2013 9:38:36 AM PST by Pan_Yan
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To: Pan_Yan

In a country in which so many politicians are malignant jokes, the public seems inclined to vote for a sober-minded, well-intentioned comedian.


2 posted on 02/13/2013 10:20:59 AM PST by Rockingham
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