Italy's Five Stars Movement's leader Beppe Grillo has joked about a German invasion of Italy in an interview with German tabloid Bild.
In the wake of the re-election of the 87-year-old president Giorgio Napolitano, the comedian turned politician slammed Italy's lawmakers and said the financial giant to the north should take over.
"In our parliaments there are still 30 MPs who have been convicted of serious offences. I'd like honest, competent and professional people in the right positions," he said. "In this respect, I would be glad about a German invasion of Italy."
Grillo, who criticised the reappointment of Napolitano as a frantic attempt to hold on to power by a disgraced establishment, also warned that Italy would be broke in six months.
"Italy will bankrupt by the autumn," he said. "Berlusconi is done. Small and medium-sized enterprises are failing. Between September and October the state will finish [its funds] and it will become difficult to pay wages and pensions.
"The re-election of Giorgio Napolitano is a deceitful coup d'état," he added. "Political parties are fighting for survival."
Grillo's movement backed Stefano Rodota, a leftist academic, while Napolitano was voted for by Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right coalition, Mario Monti's centrist movement and the centre-left Democratic Party (PD).
"They have stolen a year of time. I don't think we can accept this," Grillo said.
In his inaugural address, an emotional Napolitano denounced the two months of "fatal deadlock" that have gripped the country since the February election. He condemned rival political parties for an "unforgivable" failure to support a reformist coalition government.
"I must be frank, if I find myself again in front of the deafness with which I have clashed in the past, I will not hesitate in drawing the consequences [to the attention] of the country," he warned.