Italy has a rising star: Matteo Salvini, head of the Eurosceptic Northern League, is scoring high in the polls as he bids to fill the political vacuum on the right left by Silvio Berlusconi.

As the country's 39-year old Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and his centre-left Democratic Party (PD) battle to comply with European budget rules, Salvini, 41, is wooing recession-weary voters on an anti-immigration, anti-euro and overtly anti-Muslim platform.

"We want to have the majority in Italy. We are preparing for the future," the media-friendly former journalist said in a recent interview.

Read the complete original version of this item...