Italy's relationship with the EU has deteriorated since an anti-establishment government took the reins in Rome last year. And for Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, that breakdown has coincided with a surge in popularity.
Tensions between Rome and Brussels have risen on different occasions since the new coalition took power last June. There has been a dispute over how much the Italian government wants to spend; an intense exchange of words over the collapse of a bridge in the city of Genoa during the summer; and an ongoing battle over immigration. In addition, some Italian politicians have recently joined French protesters, creating a rift with its neighboring country.
"It is clear that the relationship between Italy and Brussels is much more fractious (now) than in the past," Wolfango Piccoli, a political and policy risk advisor at research firm Teneo told CNBC via telephone.
He described the government's attitude toward Europe as a "vote-winning" strategy.