Beppe Grillo warns that Italy will be ‘dropped like a hot potato’

Some think he’s still a comedian, however, he has it right in knowing that all roads in the European economic crisis lead to Berlin as it seeks to control Europe’s destiny for the fourth time.

In an interview with the German business newspaper Handelsblatt, Mr Grillo said: “The northern European countries are only holding onto us until their banks have recouped their investments in Italian sovereign bonds. Then they’ll drop us like a hot potato.” The comic-turned-political activist, who campaigned against austerity measures implemented by Prime Minister Mario Monti, compared the technocrat prime minister to “a bankruptcy trustee acting on behalf of the banks” and described his Five Star Movement as: “the French revolution – without the guillotine.”

He repeated his call for a referendum on Italian membership of the euro and insisted he was not anti-European, but a critic of the way the EU has evolved.

“I have only said we need a plan B. We need to ask ‘What has become of Europe? Why do we have no common tax or immigration policy? Why is only Germany getting richer?‘,” he said. Continue reading

Clouds of crisis return to Europe

Europe’s brief respite from political and financial turmoil has come to an abrupt halt in the wake of a nerve-rattling Italian election, Britain’s loss of its cherished triple-A credit rating and troubling developments on other fronts.

On Monday, the euro fell to its lowest level against the U.S. dollar in six weeks, but strengthened slightly against the British pound, which was shaken by the credit downgrade announced late Friday by Moody’s Investors Service. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost more ground in a single session that at any time since November. Italian bonds plunged and German bonds and U.S. Treasuries rallied, as nervous investors once again looked for safer harbours.

Two unlikely political hotheads – loudmouth comedian Beppe Grillo and Silvio Berlusconi, the aging schmoozer who never says die – turned the Italian election on its head, virtually guaranteeing that the country faces a period of political chaos. Continue reading