Northern League party leader Matteo Salvini speaks on stage during a rally downtown Rome, February 28, 2015. REUTERS/Max Rossi
(Reuters) – Thousands of supporters of Italy’s anti-euro Northern League filled one of the biggest squares in Rome on Saturday, accusing the government of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi of selling the country out to faceless powers in Brussels.
Northern League leader Matteo Salvini, who called the rally, took aim at a series of targets, ranging from illegal immigrants and Romanian truck drivers to tax authorities, banks and big business.
“The problem isn’t Renzi, Renzi is a pawn, Renzi is a dumb slave, at the disposal of some nameless person who wants to control all our lives from Brussels,” he told the rally at the Piazza del Popolo, called just over two months ahead of regional elections in May.
Italy’s centre-right opposition has been in disarray for the past year, riven by faction-fighting and unable to mount a consistent challenge to Renzi, whose centre-left Democratic Party holds a commanding lead in opinion polls.
However, 41 year-old Salvini has overseen a resurgence of his party since taking over as leader a little over a year ago, focusing on attacking immigration and the euro in a drive to broaden its appeal beyond its base in northern Italy…