Beppe Grillo’s Five Star Movement becomes Italy’s election success story

“By any standards, and whatever happens, Beppe Grillo and the Five Star Movement (M5S) have emerged from Italy‘s general election as big winners.

Because of the way the electoral system works – favouring alliances Grillo shuns – the M5S will not be the overall victor. But projections suggested it could get more votes than any other party, and could hold the balance of power in the upper house, the Senate. “Honesty will be fashionable again,” Grillo declared on Twitter, as the projections began to emerge.

But Grillo has so far refused to do deals with any other parties so small wonder markets and chancelleries view with alarm the progress of the man whose name translates as Joe – Beppe is a diminutive of Giuseppe, or Joseph – Cricket. It could scarcely be bettered as that of someone who has taken it on himself to recount uncomfortable truths, because that is also the role of the cricket in Italy’s best-loved children’s book, Pinocchio.

Giuseppe Grillo was born 64 years ago in Genoa and studied commercial economics. He might have ended up a provincial accountant.”

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