By Mark Duff
BBC News, Milan
Nobel Prize winning satirist Dario Fo is campaigning for election as mayor of Italy's financial capital, Milan.
Mr Fo says Milan has been betrayed by the right-wingers
On Sunday he faces a run-off to become the candidate of the centre-left coalition in May's election.
It is a dramatic change of direction for a man known for his scathing attacks on the rich and powerful.
If elected, Mr Fo is promising to wage war against property speculators as well as the cars whose fumes make Milan one of Europe's most polluted cities.
He also wants to revitalise Milan's suburbs.
Holding court at an abandoned farm in the suburbs of Milan that he wants to see turned into a community social and cultural centre, Mr Fo launched into a tirade against the current generation of politicians.
He says they have betrayed Milan and it is time for change.
"The right doesn't give a damn. It is only interested in making money," Mr Fo says.
"A city as ruined as Milan cannot be saved by half measures. That's why I say I'm no moderate."
Mr Fo is a fan of the congestion charge introduced by London's Mayor Ken Livingstone - who has himself visited Milan to support the satirist.
But before Mr Fo can address any of this he faces a tough fight in a US-style primary for selection as the left's candidate.
Polls show he is running a close second to his main rival on the left - a former prefect of Milan.
The irony of this is not lost on him. The prefect's duties include responsibility for the police - and Milan's police are the villains of Mr Fo's best-known work, Accidental Death of an Anarchist.