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Who’s Laughing Now?

Beppe Grillo—Italy’s comedian turned prominent politico— talks Putin, Trump and the future of the European Union

WORLD

GIUSEPPE “BEPPE” GRILLO, 69, rose to prominence as a comedian, skewering the hypocrisy and venality of Italy’s political class. When he formed the Five Star Movement in 2009, his antiestablishment, euroskeptic stance quickly made the upstart party a player in Italian politics. His supporters: mostly young, working- class Italians who had become disillusioned with the traditional left. After winning 32 percent of the vote in the March election, Five Star became the single biggest group in the country’s Parliament. In the wake of his party’s victory, Grillo refused to take a seat in Parliament or in a possible coalition government, instead preferring to guide the movement from the outside.

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