Mercoledì, 19 Settembre 2018
ROME

5-Star Movement makes communication 'blunders'

English
© ANSA

Rome, March 19 - House caucus leader for the 5-Star
Movement (M5S) Roberta Lombardi drew criticism from media
professionals on Tuesday for refusing to take questions after a
press conference in what appears to be the latest in a series of
communications 'blunders' by the populist and anti-establishment
party of comedian Beppe Grillo.
"They have already become like the others" was a common
verdict from journalists present at the hastily convened press
conference to present the movement's candidates for top House
positions after Lombardi refused to end the meeting with
questions from the floor.
Earlier in the day Puglia regional governor and leader of
Left Ecology Freedom (SEL), Nichi Vendola, reiterated denials
that he had called a M5S senator, Francesco Campanella, to
invite him to join his party as reported by the latter, and
threatened to press defamation charges unless he apologised.
"I don't know if it was a joke, it sounded like Vendola,"
said Campanella in self-defence, later adding that he and
Vendola had since spoken to clarify the matter.
Vendola also denied that this second call had ever taken
place.
On Monday House representative Gessica Rostellato came
under fire for failing to answer questions put to her by a
reporter from the satirical television show Le Iene.
She suffered ridicule for failing to correctly identify
Mario Draghi as president of the European Central Bank and
former governor of the Bank of Italy - a 'slip' for which she
later apologised on Facebook.
She was also forced to apologise for a separate incident
involving the refusal to shake hands with Democratic Party (PD)
President, Rosy Bindi, in parliament.
M5S co-founder and political guru Gianroberto Casaleggio
has deployed two of his chief bloggers to Rome to oversee
communications among the movement's 162 elected representatives.
The party holds the balance of power in parliament after
February general elections gave Pier Luigi Bersani's centre-left
coalition a clear majority in the lower chamber but not enough
support to win the confidence of the equally powerful Senate.
Since then Bersani has been trying to woo Grillo with
little success, although after successfully imposing his
candidate for the speakership of the Senate thanks to support
from some M5S representatives cracks have begun to appear within
the party.

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