Relations between Italy and France are strained with migration a key point of tension between Salvini and Macron.
Both politicians stand for opposite ends of the European political spectrum; as leader of the anti-immigration Lega party, Salvini is firmly on the right and he advocates a smaller, less powerful European Union, while Macron is seen as a figurehead for the European project and has called for more integration and centralization.
Salvini's fellow Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio, who leads the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S), has said in the past that he had "no doubt" that the leaders of France and Germany wanted Italy's euroskeptic government to fall.
Lega and M5S have produced controversial 2019 spending plans which have seen Italy clash with the European Commission. The spending plans envisage the introduction of a basic income for the poor, a lower retirement age and a proposed flat tax rate.
Brussels has rejected the budget, however, saying that it goes against EU rules that states should work towards lowering their budget deficits and debt piles (Italy has the second highest debt pile in the euro zone of 133 percent of GDP). The commission has said Italy needs to amend its spending plans if it wants to avoid sanctions, including a possible fine. We have yet to see what amendments Italy will announce.
Markets have been remarkably sanguine regarding Italy's clash with Brussels, however, and expect a solution to be found. Goldman's Mueller-Glissmann told CNBC that the effect of Italy's collision with the commission had so far been contained.
"Italy is in a deep bear market, we've seen a lot of widening of credit and yet nevertheless we've not seen a lot of spill-over, I've think it would need to get to the next level with more downgrades and more significant market stress from Italy spilling over to banks and other parts of Europe," he said. "My sense is that Italy will potentially dominate headlines into the new year, but won't be such of a big problem in 2019."