Rome

Grillo says Marini would be 'Berlusconi's president'

M5S leader says PD-PdL taking Italy back to 'Mussolini's day'

Grillo says Marini would be 'Berlusconi's president'

(see related stories on presidential ballot) Rome, April 18 - 5-Star Movement leader Beppe Grillo on Thursday blasted the two biggest parties in parliament, the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) and the centre-right People of Freedom (PdL), after they both said they would vote for former Senate Speaker Franco Marini in Thursday's first ballot to elect Italy's next president. Comedian-turned-politician Grillo accused ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi and PD chief Pier Luigi Bersani of selecting Marini after meeting in a hotel to "decide the destiny of 60 million Italians". He added that this meant Marini would be "Berlusconi's president" if he is elected. The M5S chose its presidential candidate, former Communist party MP and privacy authority chief Stefano Rodotà, after an online vote of its members. "The choice is between the president of the Italian people, who is Rodota', and Berlusconi's president, who is Marini," Grillo said at a rally. "It seems like we're in the times of Mussolini's (last) speech (in 1944) at (Milan's Teatro) Lirico. "It's the stuff of science fiction. They have not understood that that history has moved on from there".

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