The European Union must stop giving money to Italy because it ends up in the hands of the Mafia, according to Beppe Grillo, leader of the eurosceptic Five Star Movement which won 21 per cent of the vote and 17 seats in the elections to the European Parliament in May.
Grillo was speaking in Strasbourg at the first session of the new parliament where he was appeared at a press conference alongside his ally, the UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage.
“I came here to look at the accounts and to say not to give more money to Italy because it disappears into three regions: Sicily, Calabria and Campania. That is where the Mafia, the ‘Ndrangheta and the Camorra are,” he said.
Grillo also defended Farage and UKIP after they turned their backs on the EU’s “anthem,” Beethoven’s Ode to Joy at the opening ceremony of the parliament on Wednesday.
“Enough with the Ode to Joy. It was used by Hitler, the biggest killer in history,” Grillo said. He added: “The joy in Europe is gone.”
“I love people like Farage, he is one who has emotion. We’ve changed politics in Italy, and he wants to do the same in London. If I go wrong in Italy,” he added, turning to look at the UKIP leader, “I’ll go and stay with him in London.”