Italy's rising star the comedian Beppe Grillo whose movement gained 25% in the recent Italian elections, has warned on Italy's massive 2 trillion euro debt. He stated that the country may have to ditch the euro and return to its former national currency the lira. Italy was in such dire economic straits that “in six months, we will no longer be able to pay pensions and the wages of public employees.”
"The incendiary comments are likely to intensify the acute paralysis within Italian politics.
Mr Grillo’s web-based, anti-establishment Five Star Movement won more than a quarter of the vote in Italy’s general election last week."
"But he refuses to do any sort of power-sharing deal with the centre-Left Democratic Party, which has shaky control of the upper and lower houses of parliament but without a big enough majority to form a government."
"Mr Grillo, renowned for his blistering attacks on Italy’s established political caste, has called Pier Luigi Bersani, the leader of the Democratic Party “a dead man talking” and has predicted the annihilation of both the centre-Left and the centre-Right coalition led by Silvio Berlusconi within months."
The three-way deadlock has created the first hung parliament in modern Italian history and raised fears in the rest of the world about Italy’s ability to maintain desperately needed economic reforms initiated by Mario Monti, the former technocrat prime minister." (Telegraph)
Italy’s new parliament has to meet by March 15 at the latest, after which formal talks with Giorgio Napolitano, the octogenarian Italian president, are scheduled to begin on the formation of a new government.
Markets were jittery in trading on Friday, with the Milan index plunging 1.54 percent - the worst performer among major European stock markets.