Mercoledì, 26 Settembre 2018

Grillo huddles with M5S amid dissent reports


(By Kate Carlisle) Rome, April 5 - The
anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) is not set to split,
founder Beppe Grillo said Friday after a powwow with movement
MPs, denying reports of growing dissent.
"The others are splitting, not us," said the allegedly
authoritarian leader, whose movement holds the balance of power
in Italy's hung parliament.
Media-swarmed M5S representatives as they boarded a
privately-chartered bus on Friday morning in Rome to head to an
initially undisclosed location for meetings.
M5S MPs then holed up all day in a villa near Fiumicino
south of Rome for a talks with their firebrand leader to discuss
the party's pledge of non-alliance and other policies.
Initially the location had reportedly been kept secret even
from participants themselves to deter media coverage of the
potentially heated debate.
M5S took over 25% of the vote in the House in February's
general elections and holds the balance in a divided Senate
while refusing to compromise with other parties in order to form
a government.
Grillo has maintained a policy of non-alliance with other
political formations - including the centre-left Democratic
Party (PD) of Pier Luigi Bersani, who got a tidy majority in
the lower chamber of parliament thanks to a winner's bonus but
failed to clinch a working majority in the equally powerful
The comedian from Genoa refuses to talk to the PD or
ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom party (PdL),
damning them as equally culpable in an allegedly corrupt and
dysfunctional system.
Advances by Bersani have been repeatedly rebuffed by
However, cracks began to appear within M5S after the
Bersani successfully imposed his candidate for Senate Speaker
thanks to support from some M5S representatives.
And there has been growing criticism from grass-roots M5S
supporters and some MPs over a stance that has helped prevent
the formation of a new government.
Grillo said during Friday's meeting that it was
"legitimate" for some members to disagree with official party
policy during.
"I don't expect a total convergence of ideas within the
movement, it is legitimate that some people should see things
differently," he added.
However, in March as Bersani vied to gain a confidence vote
to solidify a legislature, the House whip for Grillo's Movement
said any of its lawmakers who vote confidence in a government
led by Bersani's centre-left alliance will be expelled. "There
won't be a deal (for a confidence vote)," said Roberta Lombardi.
"If anyone decides to do it, they'll be out of the
During Friday's meetings, the comic-turned-politician
reminded MPs that they should not trust political parties as
they had not managed to change Italy's electoral law when they
had the chance.
Introduced by the 2001-2006 Berlusconi government, the law,
dubbed 'pig's dinner', is considered one of the main reasons why
the February elections delivered such an inconclusive result.

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