Italie: Beppe Grillo, the anti-politics showman
11 May 2012
L'Espresso, Corriere della Sera
"The system is disintegrating" warns l’Espresso, after the first round of partial municipal elections held on May 6 and 7. Support for the right-wing parties, who were the victors in the last elections in 2008, collapsed and candidates from the Northern League and the People of Freedom were knocked out in many cities. But it is not the centre-left that benefitted: the protest vote mostly went to Beppe Grillo’s 5 Star Movement. By obtaining more than 10% of the vote in many cities, this new political phenomenon could grab control of several town halls.
A former top comedian famous for his political rants and the writer of a popular blog, Grillo, 64, founded his party in 2009, on the wave of a series of performance-meetings, in which he railed against several political and financial scandals and the vices of the "caste", as the Italian ruling class are nicknamed.
Like all protest movements, Grillo’s brings a positive 'winds of change' message," notes l’Espresso,
but he also voices the demagogue spirit of those who dream of toppling Mario Monti, his government, its taxes and its austerity without growth.
Corriere della Sera also echoes this sentiment:
Certainly, Grillo is a performer whose torrential tirades appeal to both Poujadist sentiments and anti-political ones... But his programme is full of suggestions: from waste management to the refusal of easy growth based on real estate, through to transparency in administration and Internet usage in line with the levels of western countries.