Italian comedian-turned-politician Beppe Grillo, whose Five-Star Movement (M5S) defied expectations to come third in last weekend’s elections, has ruled out a coalition with the centre-left. Pier Luigi Bersani’s Democratic Party (PD) won a majority in the Chamber of Deputies but fell short in the Senate. Mr Grillo told the BBC he expected Mr Bersani to agree a deal with Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Freedom (PdL). The inconclusive polls have pushed up borrowing costs for the government. On Wednesday, the Italian treasury sold 4bn euros (£3.45bn) of new 10-year government bonds on the financial markets at a yield of 4.83%, up from 4.17% at its last sale in January, and 2.5bn euros of new five-year bonds at a yield of 3.59%, up from 2.94%.
BBC economics correspondent Andrew Walker says the latest rates are seen as bearable, but that the rises signal that investors want to see a strong Italian government, committed to economic reforms. It is certainly possible that borrowing costs will rise further if the political uncertainty drags on for a long period, he adds.
In an interview with the BBC, Mr Grillo said he would not support any new government and he expected fresh elections to be held within a year. “Today in Italy, what will happen is what happened before. The right and the left will get together and will govern a country of rubble that they are responsible for,” he said.