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Comedian Triumphs in Italian Vote

We know what you’re thinking, but the headline above isn’t meant to refer to that guy—you know, the guy with the “bunga bunga” parties and underage models. No, this is another Italian comic, Beppe Grillo, whose Five Star Movement is shaking up Italian politics in a big way. The FT reports:

A new anti-establishment party led by a stand-up comic has established itself as a force to be reckoned with in Italian politics after riding a wave of anger at the country’s mainstream parties and government austerity to score strongly in Sicily’s regional elections.

With about two-thirds of votes counted from Sunday’s elections by Monday evening, the grassroots Five Star Movement led by Beppe Grillo was leading as the single biggest party on the island of 5m people with about 15 per cent. It was followed closely by the centre-left Democrats and, in third place, the People of Liberty led by former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.

He could shake up Europe as well. Grillo is running on an anti-Brussels, anti-euro platform, and there are signs that Berlusconi’s party (which was clobbered in the Sicilian elections) will be taking a similar stance in the national elections scheduled next year.

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