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European Journal

Italy: The Outsider

The parliamentary elections are over, but Italy still hasn't been able to form a government. That's because close to 60 percent of Italians voted for political outsiders -- like former comedian Beppe Grillo.

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In the 1980s Grillo was a popular TV personality, known for his biting political satire. Then he became an activist and, eight years ago, started his own blog. In 2007, Grillo organized a massive rally to demand that over two dozen Italian politicians with criminal records leave office. His party "Movimento 5 stelle" or the "Five Stars Movement" won more than 25 percent of the vote in the recent general election, but Grillo has vowed it will not join any coalition.