‘Donald Trump is a hero’: Italy’s far-right leader

'Donald Trump is a hero': Italy's far-right leader
Donald Trump (L) has been hailed as 'heroic' by far-right Italian politician Matteo Salvini (R). Photo: Andres Solaro/Scott Olseon/AFP
The leader of Italy's far-right Northern League party, Matteo Salvini, hailed US presidential hopeful Donald Trump as 'heroic' while speaking at the annual Northern League party in Lombardy, north Italy.

“I would like to meet Donald Trump and shake his hand,” Salvini told his supporters. “He is a heroic and colourful person and we are on the same wavelength when it comes to many things,” Corriere della Sera reported him as saying.

Salvini's comments reflect the appeal Trump has among Italian Northern League voters, who are not renowned for their international perspective. 

In his high-profile campaign to become the Republican presidential candidate, Trump has drawn vociferous criticism from many, but is popular among Northern League supporters who are attracted to Trump due to his strong anti- immigration and anti-Muslim stance.

“I like people who have an idea and stand up for it,” Salvini added.

Salvini also praised Marine Le Pen, claiming her National Front party “had not lost” by failing to take a single seat in Sunday's regional elections in France.

“It's still the biggest party in France with 40 percent of the vote.”

“This is why right and centre-right cooperation is necessary,” he added, referencing his party's increasing unity with Silvio Berlusconi's more moderate Forza Italia as the Northern League seek to gain ground in Italy.