Conte not ready to act as Grillo’s shadow in Italy’s 5-Star Movement

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ANSA – Italy’s ex-premier Giuseppe Conte on Monday voiced misgivings about his touted role as new leader of the populist 5-Star Movement (M5S) saying “I cannot lend myself to an operation I don’t believe in”, but said M5S founder and comedian Beppe Grillo was still the “linchpin” of the party.

“I can’t take a decision just with my heart if my head tells me that the path is wrong,” he told a press conference.

The former premier said he was not prepared to head a “mere facade operation, of pure restyling”. Conte said the M6S had shortcomings and innovations were “indispensable”, having studied the movement and listened to “everybody” for four months.

Conte appealed to Grillo to “let the M5S grow”, and not be a “parent-boss”. He said he could not himself be a “front man” for a “shadow leader”. Conte said the M5S must vote ASAP on the new Statute he has drawn up. He said he would continue regular talks with Grillo and said “I am convinced that Grillo remains a linchpin of this (party), whether they vote for my proposal or not”.


Photo – Former Italian premier Giuseppe Conte EPA-EFE/UNIVERSITY OF FLORENCE/FLICKR

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