Salvini says populists could spark ‘European Spring’ as he meets Polish ruling party leader

Italy’s pugnacious deputy prime minister, Matteo Salvini, called for an alliance with populists in Poland and elsewhere during a visit to Warsaw, setting the stage for a showdown with the EU establishment at European Parliament elections in May.

Mr Salvini, who leads the nationalist, anti-immigrant League party, pledged to create a “new European spring” and to work with Poland’s ruling populists.

It was his latest attempt to recruit Eurosceptic allies in a growing confrontation with the likes of Emmanuel Macron, the French president, and Angela Merkel, the German chancellor.