Italy's joker won't help any politician

Third placed in the Italian elections, Beppe Grillo has just snubbed Pier Bersani of the centre-left coalition by ruling out a coalition or a vote of confidence for Bersani. Grillo has said that his movement will not vote in favour of any politician. It is unclear as to whether this would mean that Grillo might abstain. Open Europe's Vincenzo Scarpetta on Grillo:

The Five-Star Movement led by Grillo received over 25 per cent of the vote, thanks to innovative, social media campaigning (including recruiting candidates via an online survey). Grillo has been critical of the euro, and called for a referendum on whether Italy should leave the single currency and default on some of its debt. This is the opposite of what Brussels wants.

Meanwhile Monti, the outgoing Prime Minister who led a technocratic, pro-Brussels government over the past year or so, got just over 10 per cent of votes. Grillo’s party will hold roughly twice as many seats in the lower house. Or, put differently: a Yale-educated former European commissioner and adviser to Goldman Sachs was hammered at the polls by a former comedian

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