The anarchic comedian and blogger who leads one of Italy's most rapidly-growing political parties has told CNBC that Prime Minister Mario Monti is a mere "bankruptcy curator" who "needs to disappear."
Beppe Grillo, the dishevelled stand-up comic whose severe criticism of Italy's mainstream politicians has helped his party, the Five Star Movement, gain the support of close to 15 percent of Italians in recent polls, said: "Monti was as the Americans say a "bluff", a bubble. Our country went bankrupt last year but half of the debt was in French and German banks. "
"Had we gone bankrupt last year, Europe would have ended.So they sent in Monti to manage the situation in order for the German andFrench banks to get their money back."
The announcement that Monti will step down as Prime Minister before the expected time, after losing the support of Silvio Berlusconi's party, has put heavily-indebted Italy firmly back on the euro zone agenda this week. Monti was viewed as a safe pair of hands in Italian politics,often dominated by larger-than-life characters like Berlusconi or satirist Grillo – who dismissed the current administration as "amateur parasites."
However, Grillo, who worked as an accountant beforestarting his career in comedy, believes that the imposition of austerity lawsbacked by other euro zone leaders and accepting more backing from the ECB ishurting Italy. Grillo rarely gives TV interviews as he prefers the medium of blogging, but spoke to CNBC in Milan.
Italy's Next Leader: Neither Comedian Nor Cavalier