Open Europe Blog

Beppe Grillo is the man of the moment in Italy and Europe. He, and not Mario Monti as thought, commands enough seats in the Italian Senate to hold the balance of power. So the former Comedian, not the former European Commissioner, could be the king-maker.  But does he want to?

There are plenty of rumours coming our of Italy that Pier Luigi Bersani – whose centre-left coalition holds a solid majority in the lower house of the Italian parliament – is trying to court Grillo somehow. But Grillo may well continue to resist any formal coalition arrangements with other parties – after all that was his entire thing in the run-up to the elections.

Yesterday, he insisted on La Cosa, the Five-Star Movement official TV / radio online station, that he is not going to make inciuci, inciucetti, or inciucini –  Italian slang to describe backroom deals – with anyone.  

But only an hour ago he told journalists outside his house in Genoa,

We talk about programmes. We’re not against the world. We’ll see reform by reform, law by law. If there are proposals that fit with our programme, we’ll consider them. 

So this seems to suggest that Grillo could be willing to offer occasional, case-by-case support in parliament – provided that the proposals on the table are in line with the Five-Star Movement manifesto. That’s a very similar to minority government arrangements elsewhere, where individual parties are relied on to push through certain measures.

But even if such a deal between Bersani and Grillo can be struck, it isn’t exactly a recipe for (eurozone) stability – not least given some of Grillo’s actual economic policies.

We will be over Grillo like a cheap suit, so keep reading our blog and follow us on Twitter @OpenEurope or @LondonerVince for all the latest updates from Italy.

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