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Politicians across the board lash out at Grillo

'Subversive, incendiary, cowardly, irresponsible'

10 December, 15:02
Politicians across the board lash out at Grillo (ANSA) - Rome, December 10 - Politicians across the spectrum on Tuesday lashed out at what they said were subversive comments by anti-establishment leader Beppe Grillo, who urged police to join a burgeoning anti-government movement and stop protecting Italy's politicians.

"Grillo secretes daily venom against our institutions, adopting openly subversive tones and contents. Those who play with fire risk getting burned. We certainly won't allow him to set the country on fire," said ruling Democratic Party (PD) Senator Alessia Morani. "Grillo is invoking a coup with incendiary and subversive words...his is a cowardly and criminal choice, made exclusively at the expense of the people," PD MP Danilo Leva echoed her. "Dear Grillo, your speech is lacking a key element, which is that democratic protest is legitimate as long as it doesn't involve violence," New Centre Right (NCD) Senator Antonio Gentile said in a note. "Saying that politicians should not be protected carries a dangerous subliminal message. Fanning the flames of discontent today is utterly irresponsible".

"Today's letter to the forces of law and order is a step up in Grillo's strategy: luckily the recipients are serious people, and they will return it to sender," centrist leader Pier Ferdinando Casini commented.

Grillo, who heads the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S), regularly accuses Italy's politicians, hit by a string of pork-barrel and perks scandals, of failing to help the swelling numbers of 'new poor' in the country's longest postwar recession. "I ask you not to protect these politicians any more," said the populist former comedian, whose 5-Star Movement (M5S) stormed to third place in February's general election in a huge protest vote. Launched Monday, a rising anti-capitalist, anti-euro and anti-austerity movement called Forconi (Pitchforks) caused chaos across Italy into Tuesday, blocking roads and railways and rampaging through city streets.

In Turin, police showed solidarity by taking off their riot helmets after quelling a protest.