Beppe Grillo, the leader of Italy’s anti-establishment Five Star Movement, lamented Emmanuel Macron’s victory in the French presidential election, in a blog post on Monday.
“Europe will see another government coming out of the banks,” Mr Grillo wrote. “More precious time will be wasted to benefit this plastic formation, these dummies who are slaves of an impossible currency,” he added.
Mr Grillo’s comments mark a sharp contrast to his blog post following Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 US election, which he hailed as a win for the “misfits” against the establishment.
Five Star is currently slightly ahead of Italy’s ruling Democratic party in opinion polls, with the backing of about 28 per cent of Italians, making it one of the strongest populist parties in Europe. It has called for a referendum on exiting the euro.
In his post, Mr Grillo attacked Marine Le Pen, the leader of the National Front, calling her “hard to digest”, and saying it was a “shame that globalisation’s disasters” could only be “absorbed by her” at least in France. He highlighted the high level of abstentions and blank ballots cast, doubting Mr Macron’s ability to succeed. “Is there true love for Macron, as it is being sold by the smiley establishment-friendly mass media?,” Mr Grillo asked. “As the first president coming from a non-traditional political party in France, I hope he will commit to safeguarding the people better than the Democratic party here in Italy,” he added.
Five Star had declined to endorse Ms Le Pen during the contest, as it likes to fashion itself as neither of the right nor of the left. But as well as similar views on European monetary union, Five Star has hardened its stance on immigration to move towards the National Front’s positions, and shares a similar sympathy for Vladimir Putin’s Russia.