Grillo Says Open to Deal With Bersani That Starts With President

Beppe Grillo, the ex-comic with a blocking minority in Italy’s Senate, offered to restart alliance talks with Democratic Party leader Pier Luigi Bersani in a bid to gain support for the presidential candidacy of journalist Milena Gabanelli.

Grillo asked Bersani to vote for Gabanelli, who won the nomination of the ex-comic’s Five Star Movement today, when parliament meets April 18 to select a successor to President Giorgio Napolitano. The offer comes after Five Star stymied Bersani’s attempt this month to become prime minister.

“Try it, try voting for her and we’ll start from there,” Grillo said in a video broadcast today on his blog. “Think about it Bersani, think about it. And it could be the beginning of who knows, who knows, a collaboration.”

Grillo, 64, won a quarter of the vote in a February general election and has since shunned cooperation with leaders of competing parties. Bersani, head of the biggest parliamentary force, lacks a majority in the Senate and needs backing from either Grillo or Berlusconi to form a government.

The president, whose job is largely ceremonial, serves a seven-year term.

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