Italian populists renew anti-euro stance while eyeing power

A leader of Italy's 5-Star Movement is pressing for a vote on whether the country should keep the euro as its official currency.

Alessandro Di Battista, one of the populist party's several leaders, said in comments published Thursday in La Repubblica newspaper that "euro and Europe aren't the same thing."

Movement founder Beppe Grillo has long railed against Italy's membership in the eurozone, the 19 countries where the euro is the official currency.

Suggesting the party might push for a referendum on abandoning the single currency, Di Battista said: "We want only that the Italians decide."

The Movement is hoping to gain Italy's premiership for the first time now that Matteo Renzi resigned as premier of a center-left government.

Elections now scheduled for 2018 might be held a year earlier.