The grass-roots Five Star Movement has 163 newcomers in the Italian Parliament. Here are some of them:
Home town: Lecce, in the southern Italian region of Puglia
Background He followed the Five Star Movement’s founder, TV comedian Beppe Grillo, for years during his early career as an entertainer in the 1970s and ’80s. In the 2000s, Buccarella became impressed by Grillo’s anti-corruption crusade targeting the traditional political classes of Italy. He officially joined the Five Star Movement six years ago because “I knew it was the only hope for our country.”
Home town: Santa Maria Capua Vetere, north of Naples
Background (translated from her official bio on beppegrillo.it): “I joined Beppe Grillo’s [online forum] in 2007, and I’ve never stopped supporting it since. I felt something important was going on, and I wanted to be a part of it. . . . The birth of the Five Star Movement became the most important project of my life.”
Profession: Elevator salesman
Home town: Avellino, east of Naples
Background He returned from studying at the University of Perugia in Umbria in 2007 to find that a major garbage strike had left trash strewn on the streets of his home town. He decided that the country needed change and joined the online community of the Five Star Movement. He become more and more active politically within the “virtual party,” winning a seat in Italy’s lower house and becoming a first-time lawmaker this month.
Profession: Works for an international courier company
Home town: Brescia, in northern Italy.
Background Although she has no experience in politics, she says that makes her more suitable to serve, given the tarnished image of traditional politicians. “I say that if experience leads to bribery and to stealing money, I’m happy not to be experienced,” she told the Guardian newspaper.
Profession: Factory line worker
Home town: Asti, in the northwestern Italian region of Piedmont
Background (translated from his official bio on beppegrillo.it): “My experience within the movement started in 2007, after one of Beppe Grillo’s shows. . . . The turning point for me was in 2010, when along with others I founded our first local Five Star group.”