Rome v Brussels.
Italian Deputy Prime Minister: Matteo Salvini.
The relationship between the European Union and Italy is not going too well, these days. Italy is ruled by populist parties, they are in a coalition government of convenience if you will. Very different to the UK's coalition government with the DUP, known as 'supply and demand'. Yes, the Conservatives in the UK do have much in common with the right-leaning DUP, but for the DUP to prop up May's government, she had to bung them a billion Pounds.
Back to Italy and the EU, the Northern League and the Five Star Movement, have one thing in common, they either want out or want to change the EU from inside. There has been a war of words between Rome and Brussels, ever since the coalition of these parties was formed in Italy.
Matteo Salvini, Deputy Prime Minister of Italy, has been in a war of words with Jean-Claude Juncker and the European Union in general. In the past, not unlike the UK's ex-UKIP leader, Nigel Farage (an MEP), Mr Salvini, has described the men and women at the top of the EU as faceless bureaucrats.
Rome is at odds with Brussels, over many issues namely migration, until recently, previous Italian governments had been rescuing African and other migrants from the Med with their navy. Bringing them to port to Italy where many have sought asylum in the southern European nation. It seems though, that many Italians having welcomed these strangers into their midst have had enough. Many of these migrants are genuinely seeking a better life for themselves, however, it seems a criminal element has come with them, making Italian neighbourhoods changed beyond recognition, with a spiral in crime, even competing with the local Mafia.
So when the Five Star Movement and Northern League came to power, they stopped accepting migrants. Also, in defiance of the EU, the Italian government has unveiled a new budget this year.
Unlike many populist parties that want to leave the European Union, like UKIP (UK), AFD (Germany) and the National Front (France), Both the Northern League and Five Star Movement are Euro-sceptics, but instead of leaving the EU, they want to change the EU from inside-out. Obviously, to make the European Union more suitable for Italy and other European nations, somehow.
Mr Salvini has accused Mr Juncker of wanting to destroy Europe. On a visit to Austria, Mr Juncker retorted "I hope he will never have to remove the ruins", possibly referring to Italy's poor financial state of affairs or ancient Roman monuments. Either way, Mr Salvini fired back, a broadside of his own, describing Mr Junker's words as "Incredible and unacceptable". Adding to his words, Mr Salvini said: "The only ruins I will scoop, are those of the beautiful European dream, destroyed by people, like Juncker".
Italy has been a supporter of the European Union, ever since the Treaty of Rome, whereby the foundations were laid, for the future EU, as we know it today.
There will be EU elections in May, Mr Salvini has stated he wants to change Italy and Europe for the better.
Northern League Supporters.
Matteo Salvini: A Bio.
Born in Milan
Birth 9 March 1973
Currently serving as Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister
Known for his right-leaning ideology which includes opposition to illegal immigration, anti-globalisation and against the EU's policy on immigration, also a nativist.
Married to Fabrizia Leluzzi, between 2003 - 10.
Has two children, Mirta Salvini and Frederico Salvini.
The media describe him as a 'strongman'.
Trump's ex-advisor is currently working for Salvini, Steve Bannon.
In coalition government with Five Star Movement.