Italy's Five Star Movement: Falling star

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Italy's Five Star Movement

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Beppe Grillo says he’s tired, and his movement is tired of his autocratic leaders

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ROME

IT APPEARS of late that Italian politics is a question of which major party can tear itself to bits first. Matteo Renzi, the prime minister and leader of the centre left Democratic party (PD), and Silvio Berlusconi, who heads the centre right Forza Italia, both face. However, for vigour that is self destructive neither group has been able to fit Italy’s second-largest political power, the internet-based Five Star Movement (M5S).
On December 7th, Parma, Federico Pizzarotti’s mayor, whose election in the year 2012 was the first actual breakthrough of the Movement, made what looked like a play for the leadership. He hosted a meeting in the city of over 200 M5S dissidents, including members of parliament. Most protested against the high handed ways of its own cofounders: Beppe Grillo (imagined), a former comic, and his web expert, Gianroberto …