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Grillo warns parties after rocking Italian politics

Five Star Movement set to be biggest single party in House

25 February, 23:45
Grillo warns parties after rocking Italian politics (ANSA) - Rome, February 25 - Comedian Beppe Grillo warned Italy's parties that his Five Star Movement (M5S) will be watching over them after its impressive showing in Italy's general election rocked the country's political establishment.

With most of the votes counted, the M5S was set to be the biggest single party in the House, notching 25.52% of the poll, although Pier Luigi Bersani's centre left and ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's centre right had more support when all the votes of the parties in their coalitions were added up.

Grillo said his movement would not make deals with the other parties after an election that is set to produce an inconclusive outcome.

"I'm not thinking of doing any big or little shady deals," the comedian said via the web TV channel of his movement, which snubs traditional media outlets. "We'll be an extraordinary force... there'll be 110 of us (in parliament) and millions outside".

Grillo has tapped into the public's disenchantment at a series of scandals to hit the established parties and the political class's inability to address the country's economic ills.

He has promised that none of his lawmakers will be tainted by involvement in criminal scandals and warned the other parties that his representatives will be keeping close tabs on them.

"Wait for us in parliament. It's be a pleasure to watch you," he said.

He said via Twitter that "honesty will become fashionable" now.

He added that he expects the centre-left Democratic Party and Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party to form a broad government alliance to overcome the stalemate the vote looks set to produce "They'll be able to go forward for six or seven months," Grillo said.

He said Monday that to give the country back to Berlusconi amounted would be "a crime against the galaxy" and chided the "20 million or so" who voted for the 76-year-old media magnate because "deep down, they liked how things were".

Italian Nobel laureate for literature Dario Fo said the M5S's result was an "extraordinary victory" for young people.

"Cleaning up (politics) is winning, and so are young people," added Fo, who spoke during a blogcast hosted on Grillo's website.

M5S members were emboldened by their unprecedented success.

"At the next elections, we do not know when, we will be have the absolute majority in the country," said Alessandro Di Battista, a House candidate from the Lazio region around Rome.

"We are very happy. We got people to vote who normally don't vote at all".