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Renzi says Grillo 'in trouble'

'He'll deflate like a balloon if politics does its job'

03 February, 12:38
Renzi says Grillo 'in trouble' (ANSA) - Rome, February 3 - The head of the center-left Democratic Party (PD) on Monday said Beppe Grillo, the leader of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S), was going after the president and the House Speaker becuase "he's in trouble". "If politics does what it's supposed to do, he'll deflate like a balloon," Matteo Renzi told Italian daily La Repubblica. Last week the M5S filed an official request to impeach President Giorgio Napolitano, making good on an oft-made promise by Grillo, who accuses the head of State of failing to fulfill his role as impartial arbiter of Italian politics. An MP from the M5S sparked a storm last week when he called Napolitano an "executioner" ('boia'), among the worst insults in the Italian language. On Thursday the group repeated calls for House Speaker Boldrini to resign, whom it accuses of acting under direct orders of PD colleague Premier Enrico Letta.

The House floor was the scene of pushing and shoving on several occasions amid the acrimony last week. A lawmaker from a small centrist party slapped an M5S MP at one point, as he claims in an act of defending Boldrini. Over the weekend the Speaker was subjected to a barrage of insults from the Internet-based opposition party. The PD leader, elected party secretary in December in a landslide victory, called the offences against Napolitano and Boldrini "squalid," but added that the lawmaker who slapped the M5S member should step down. "Because apologies aren't enough after what we've seen," he said. Recently the M5S has accused Renzi of colluding with ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi and the center-right to try to squeeze it out of parliament with an election bill in parliament. The law would favor the two biggest coalitions in a vote. The M5S, which refuses to ally with other parties, would likely come in third.