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Grillo vows to shake up EU in European Parliament campaign

5-Star Movement chief aims to beat centre-left Democratic Party

04 April, 12:47
Grillo vows to shake up EU in European Parliament campaign (ANSA) - Rome, April 4 - Beppe Grillo on Friday told journalists in Naples that European Union treaties need to be revamped and a referendum held in Italy to withdraw from the European single currency.

The leader of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) was in Naples on the second stop of the ex-comedian-turned-politician's "I'll give you Europe" campaign for the European parliamentary elections.

Before Italian general elections in February 2013, Grillo took the same tack, tapping into political discontent to win a quarter of the popular vote for his M5S. "We will tell (German Chancellor Angela) Merkel that all the EU treaties are to be revisited. This is the purpose of my participation in the battle for the European Parliament.

Otherwise I would not have embarked on this adventure," Grillo told journalists as he left his Naples hotel. Grillo also confirmed his intention to demand a referendum on Italy's exit from the European single currency. "Absolutely. Absolutely yes," Grillo replied when questioned by a journalist whether it was still on his political agenda. Grillo also vowed to beat the centre-left Democratic Party (PD), which currently holds the reins of a fragile left-right ruling majority in parliament.

"We will win (the European parliamentary elections) without a doubt," he said. "There are 75 deputies in the running for Italy and if we take one more than the PD, we will have won. It is the only way to make the European Parliament really work," Grillo said. Thursday night, he blasted his centre-left and centre-right Italian political rivals, the PD's Premier Matteo Renzi and ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi respectively.

"Berlusconi and Renzi are finished. They are people who have gotten old. Renzi has aged prematurely," said Grillo Thursday night on Sky TG24.

Renzi is Italy's youngest premier ever at age 39.