Italian election: Eurosceptic candidate RAGES at Merkel for pushing pro-German EU policy

The right-wing Northern League leader said Mrs Merkel’s huge influence over the bloc had harmed other member states including Italy.

He claimed the Mediterranean nation has little say over EU policy and has “no chance” to influence the bloc’s direction.

Mr Salvini said: “Angela Merkel often puts the interests of German citizens and the German economy above the interests of the whole EU.

“This strategy is probably good for Germany, but it has caused damage to Italy.

“If you allow me a joke, today Italy is a bit jealous of the privileged relationship between France and Germany.

“We often get the impression that we are only being consulted about accomplished facts, instead of being able to influence decisions that set the direction for Europe.”

The populist also weighed into the migrant crisis, one of the key talking points ahead of the crunch March 4 Italian election.

He said “regaining control of national borders” was a “top priority” for the Northern League.

Mr Salvini added: “European authorities must stop the absurd ferry transport of migrants.”

The Northern League recently struck a pre-election coalition agreement with two other right-wing parties, Forza Italia and Fratelli D’Italia.

The deal has sparked fears in Brussels that Mr Salvini could replace pro-EU Paolo Gentiloni as Italian Prime Minister.

Although Mr Salvini is not campaigning for Italy to quit the bloc, he has called for Eurocrats to carry out major reforms.

And he is a fierce critic of the euro, claiming the single currency could spark a “catastrophe” if it “collapses”.

Speaking late last year, the politician said: “I believe that one single currency for 18 economies, each different in its own way, that just won’t work in the long term.

“But statistics here are more important than anything else. “Look, since the introduction of the common currency Italy’s debt has risen by €900billion (£794billion).

“Six Nobel Prize winners are unanimous in saying that this experiment has failed and we should not go any further down this road.”