Lunedì, 22 Ottobre 2018
ROME

Grillo nixes Di Pietro alliance, M5S on talk shows

English
© ANSA

Rome, November 6 - Beppe Grillo, the Italian comic
and leader of the rising anti-establishment Five Star Movement
(M5S), said Tuesday he will not ally with Antonio Di Pietro's
embattled anti-graft Italy of Values (IdV) party, and he will
ban elected members of his party from appearing on talk shows,
days after drawing the ire of feminists for ridiculing a city
councillor for making the party look bad on national television.
In a "handbook" for elected officials published on his
blog, Grillo said it was "strongly ill-advised" to appear on
talk shows, and doing so would be strictly forbidden in the
future.
The move comes a few days after M5S member and Bologna
Councillor Federica Salsi told Italian talk show Ballaro' that
"the problem of democracy (within the M5S) exists".
The following day, Grillo lashed out at Salsi on his blog,
calling the talk show appearance "her G Spot".
"It's the long-awaited 15 minutes of fame that Andy Warhol
predicted," he added.
The post was met with an onslaught of retorts from
feminists, inclulding Salsi herself.
"It's a disappointment," she said. "He's showed himself to
be the victim of the culture of (former Italian premier) Silvio
Berlusconi. It was truly demeaning. He's a sexist like the
rest".
Grillo has set up his Five Star Movement in stark
opposition to the European Union and mainstream Italian
politics, denouncing scandals that have plagued political
parties, including Berlusconi's center-right People of Freedom
party.
Fresh off scoring the most votes in Sicily elections late
last month, the M5S currently polls second in the run-up to
general elections scheduled for April, when Premier Mario
Monti's term at the helm of a technocratic government expires
and the former European commissioner vows he will step down.
The Democratic Party (PD) is currently polling around 27%,
while Berlusconi's PdL has about 15%.
Also on his blog Tuesday, in a post titled "Grillo for
Dummies," the Italian comic said the M5S would not ally with
Clean Hands magistrate Antonio Di Pietro or his embattled
anti-graft Italy of Values (IdV) party.
"Antonio Di Pietro has my friendship," said Grillo. "But
the M5S will not ally with the IdV nor with anyone else. The M5S
wants to replace the party system with direct democracy".
His announcement came after Grillo's unexpected endorsement
last week for Di Pietro as the next Italian president, after
Giorgio Napolitano steps down next year.
Grillo applauded the former anti-corruption magistrate as
"the only parliamentarian to stand up to Berlusconi" over the
years.
But Di Pietro faces his own corruption accusations, which
became national news after investigative program Report last
week explored allegations into the possible misuse of party
funds to build a large property portfolio.
Di Pietro, who denies any wrongdoing, founded his party
after spearheading the famous Clean Hands investigations into
political corruption in the early 1990s, which exposed the
Bribesville system, shaking Italian politics to its core.
Claiming to be the victim of an organized smear campaign,
Di Pietro faces suggestions of being no better than the crooks
he set out to rein in while his party is showing signs of
fraying.
On Monday, the House whip of his party resigned after
publicly comparing "the decline" of Di Pietro to that of
Berlusconi, and accused him of knowingly "scrapping" the party.
"He has betrayed his own history and in recent months has
messed everything up," said Massimo Donadi.

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