May 8, 2017 / 1:00 PM / 2 years ago

Italy's Grillo says French vote helps 'slaves to an impossible currency'

FILE PHOTO: Beppe Grillo, the founder of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, talks during a march in support of the 'No' vote in the upcoming constitutional reform referendum in Rome, Italy November 26, 2016. REUTERS/Remo Casilli

ROME (Reuters) - Beppe Grillo, founder of Italy’s 5-Star Movement, said on Monday pro-euro politicians would be boosted by the result of France’s presidential election even though the single currency had been a “disaster” for Italians.

Centrist Emmanuel Macron won the French presidency on Sunday, defeating far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen, who had threatened to take France out of the European Union.

Opinion polls show 5-Star up to 5 percentage points ahead of the ruling center-left Democratic Party, on a platform which includes a pledge to put Italy’s membership of the euro to a referendum. Italy is due to hold a parliamentary election by May 2018.

Grillo, a comedian, wrote on his blog: “It is a real shame that, in France, aversion to the disasters of globalization was absorbed by Marine Le Pen, who is difficult to digest.

“Yet more precious time wasted, to the benefit of this plastic line-up, these dummy slaves to an impossible currency,” wrote Grillo. “Europe will have another government produced by the banks.”

Italy’s 10-year government bond IT10YT=TWEB underperformed the rest of the euro zone bond market in the wake of the French election on Monday, with the yield rising 1.5 basis points to 2.19 percent.

Le Pen had pledged to ditch the euro if elected, but shortly after she passed to the second round of the vote, 5-Star said it had “little in common” with either of the candidates.

Grillo condemned the “hurry to lump all the anti-globalization forces and movements together with the term populist”.

He said he hoped Macron, who does not belong to one of France’s traditional political parties, “will commit to defending the people”.

Reporting by Isla Binnie; Editing by Janet Lawrence

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