Parties' last appeals to Italians as campaign end nears

Photo: Movimento Cinque Stelle.

ROME – Italy’s parties prepared to host their final rallies in the electoral campaign on Friday evening, with campaign closure events planned across the country.

 The Five Star Movement (M5S) have planned a large rally in Rome’s Piazza del Popolo, laying on buses and other transport for supporters to attend the event in the city. Beppe Grillo, the founder of the party who has found himself isolated from much of the campaign, will be speaking, alongside the party’s leader Luigi Di Maio.

 Grillo has appeared to be critical of the direction of the party in previous weeks, separatiung his blog from the party’s official website. However, on Friday he appeared back in the fold, writing that “only us and Forza Italia remain” in the running.

 The Democratic Party (PD) have not planned any grand event, but announced “100 events” across Italy, including Matteo Renzi’s final appearance in his home city of Florence, though the meeting will now be held in the Obihall theatre rather than Piazzale Michelangelo due to the snowy conditions.

 Liberi e Uguali (LeU) will finish in Palermo in Piazza Verdi from 18.00 this evening. Pietro Grasso will appear alongside a number of other candidates, but Laura Boldrini will be in her college in Milan from 19.00.

 The League’s leader Matteo Salvini will be in Milan to support a candidate from Lombardy, Attilio Fontana, in the Auditorium di Bonola from 17.30. Giorgi Meloni, leader of Borther of Italy has planned to speak in Latina at 19.00.

 However, their ally, Silvio Berlusconi, leader of Forza Italia, will broadcast his last message to supporters on television, along with messages from the PD and M5S.