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Grillo joins Genoa transit protests

'This is the point of no return' say anti-establishment leader

22 November, 15:45
Grillo joins Genoa transit protests (ANSA) - Genoa, November 22 - Beppe Grillo, the head of Italy's anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S), joined protesters in his hometown of Genoa Friday on the fourth day of a wildcat public transport strike halting buses and paralyzing traffic over new austerity measures and plans to privatise a city-owned partial stake in AMT, the city's financially struggling public transportation company. "This is the point of no return," Grillo told AMT workers.

"I'm even more furious than you. By coming here I'll be misinterpreted, as if I'm doing it for the votes. But I don't want anyone's votes. I live in this city, and (change) needs to start in this city". Despite snarling traffic jams and other inconveniences, unions report widespread support among Genoa residents and other city workers. A Facebook page dedicated to their cause received 3,000 ''likes'' 14 hours from being posted. Workers from garbage and maintenance companies, Aster and Amiu respectively, have joined the striking bus drivers in solidarity. Meanwhile, Genoa Prefect Giovanni Balsamo has said strikers will be punished. "One must be aware that this behaviour has consequences," he said Thursday. "The fines range from 500 to 1,000 euros".