European Union leaders are afraid of Italy’s Eurosceptic government, according to a senior aide to Rome’s Prime Minister.

Giancarlo Giorgetti believes Brussels is desperate to “abort” the fiercely Eurosceptic Italian ruling coalition. According to the Lega politician, the European Union chiefs are worried that Italy will spark a populist uprising across the bloc.

“The old ruling class in Italy and Europe want to abort this government. The EU fears that if we succeed in Italy, other countries will follow us. They don’t want to feed other populist movements.

“Everything we say is exploited against us.” He expects speculators to attack Italian financial markets next month.

In an interview with the Italian newspaper Libero, Prime Minister Conte’s top advisor said: “I expect an attack in August. The markets are populated by hungry speculative funds that choose their prey and pounce.”

“In the summer the market volumes are small, you can lay the groundwork for aggressive initiatives against countries. Look at Turkey.” Markets in Turkey dropped last week over growing worry over the country’s economy and political leadership.

Italian assets have been strained in recent weeks over concerns Rome’s government may tear up the EU’s fiscal rules. Mr. Giorgetti insists the country has the resources to defend itself.

“If the market storm comes, we will open our umbrella. Giancarlo said. “Italy is a big country and has the resources to react, thanks in part to its large amount of private savings.”

Lega’s chief economist Claudio Borghi raised concerns over the stability of the Eurozone, warning that plans by the European Central Bank to finish its stimulus programme could prove highly damaging to Italy.

“We should worry about the euro, not celebrate its presumed stability.” Mr Borghi tells La Verita.

“Either a new market guarantee is put in place, or we need to prepare for a plan B. We already have a trade surplus. The moment we have our own currency, we will have a super surplus.”