Italian populist Matteo Salvini, frontrunner to win the nation’s coming elections, has said the European Union “can go f*ck itself” in an explosive interview.

Salvini, a member of the European Parliament and leader of the Lega Nord party, on Thursday agreed on a joint manifesto with two other right-leaning leaders, and the coalition is now favourite to govern Italy after the vote on March 4th 2018.

During a heated interview with Italian TV Channel Rete 4 this week, Mr. Salvini reaffirmed his eurosceptic credentials, blasting: “Europe can go f*ck itself!”

“Europe has been punishing us for the last 15 years and we are worse off than 15 years ago,” he added. “European measures are the last thing I am interested in.”

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