Analysis: Italy’s Grillo blazes trail for Europe’s populists

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PARIS (Reuters) – Italian comic-turned-activist Beppe Grillo has blazed a trail for populist political movements around Europe by taking his Five Star Movement (M5S) from obscurity to become Italy’s largest party in its first general election campaign.  Grillo’s stunning success in turning a fringe protest group into a national force while refusing to be interviewed on television or debate with mainstream politicians may be studied by political scientists and campaign operatives for years.  Populists hostile to the euro or to immigration have ridden a wave of anger over austerity, recession and unemployment to make inroads from the Netherlands to France, Finland and Greece since the financial crisis began in 2008.  But none has upended national politics as suddenly as the 64-year-old Grillo, a self-made millionaire satirist.  His spectacular rise highlights the threat to center-right and center-left parties of government around Europe…(here)

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