Bersani blasts Grillo's claim Italy already out of euro
Centre-left leader says this would entail 'cosmic disaster'14 March, 17:57
But Bersani added that if Grillo, who wants to have a referendum on whether Italy should keep the euro as its currency, were right it would mean the country faces a "disaster of cosmic proportions".
The two leaders have been sparring with Grillo knocking back Bersani's attempts to lure his anti-establishment movement into a post-election pact.
Bersani's centre-left alliance came first in last month's general election but it failed to win a majority in parliament and the M5S holds the balance of power after capturing a huge protest vote.
Grillo told German business daily Handelsblatt that: "Italy is de facto already out of the euro. The country is on its knees".
"The northern European countries are only holding onto us until their banks have reclaimed their investments in Italian sovereign bonds," the comedian-turned-politician said. "Then they'll drop us like a hot potato". Bersani blasted the comments.
"It's not the greatest thing in the world for someone to go and tell a German newspaper that we are already out of the euro," he told his Democratic Party's in-house TV channel.
"It means that we are going around with waste paper in our pockets, with a disaster of cosmic proportions (in store) for this country".