Brussels, June 18 - The outspoken head of the European Parliament compared maverick Italian political leader Beppe Grillo to the French revolutionary Maximilien de Robespierre on Tuesday. And Martin Schulz added that the comparison suggests Grillo, like many of the French revolutionaries involved in the Reign of Terror of the 18th century, won't fare well. Grillo, the founder and leader of the troubled 5-Star Movement (M5S), has created controversy since his supporters won a substantial number of seats in February's national election. But his party has also been roiled with debate over what some call Grillo's high-handed style. "What do I think of Grillo?," Schulz commented during an interview with RAI 3 television. "Each historical experience can teach us something," he continued. "Remember for a moment Robespierre and the Jacobins," because their failure may be a good comparison for Grillo, added Schulz. Grillo was back in the news Tuesday when dozens of loyalists demonstrated outside the Italian Lower House amid a widening rift over a M5S Senator who may be kicked out of the anti-establishment party for criticizing the leader. The affair is viewed as a defining moment in the movement founded online in 2009 by the Grillo, a comedian known for irreverent rabble-rousing.
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di Sebastiano Caspanello