Per Favore, Put the Euro to a Vote

Tiziana Fabi / AFP / Getty Images

Grillo speaks at a rally in Rome on May 24 while campaigning for his Five Star Movement's candidates in local elections

Of all the proposals put forward by the wild-haired comedian turned populist politician Beppe Grillo during the run-up to Italy's elections in February, one stood out as the most controversial: his insistence that Italy hold a referendum on whether the country should give up the euro as its currency. After all, Rome had just spent the previous 15 months doing everything possible to hold on to the euro — tasking a technocratic government with implementing unpopular tax hikes and reforms, amid fears that an unruly exit by the euro zone's third largest economy would bring down the entire currency...

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