Italian Democratic Party-led (PD) government’s greater attention to the migration issue is a “propaganda move” ahead of a possible snap election this year, with PD fearing further defeat after losing June’s local vote, Gianluca Savoini, Lega Nord party Federal Secretary Matteo Salvini’s adviser on international politics, told Sputnik.

Italy’s next general election is due next year, but the possibility of snap elections increased after the defeat of PD’s constitutional referendum last year as well as the likely adoption of a new electoral law providing for proportional representation.

“[PD leader Matteo] Renzi and the left have been defeated in the administrative election in June, and as a result they try to be more alert to migration issues. However, they are clowns of propaganda and all this is just a propaganda move,” Gianluca Savoini said.

Over 100,000 migrants and refugees arrived in Europe via the Mediterranean Sea since the beginning of 2017, with the majority landing in Italy, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Permanent Representative of Italy to the European Union Maurizio Massari described the migration situation as “unmanageable” after Italy took in some 12,000 migrants over the course of a few days at the end of June.

According to Savoini, the Italian government should threaten to leave the European Union if the European Commission does not take measures aimed at setting mechanisms that would allow to check arriving boats for smuggling activity.

“The Italian government should threaten to leave the EU if Europe does not stop ships full of immigrants from arriving to our shores but this government is just a puppet manipulated by the globalist powers and cannot do anything,” Savoini said.

On June 3, French, German and Italian interior ministers agreed with the EU migration, home affairs and citizenship commissioner on a number of measures to help Italy deal with its migrant influx, including the strengthening of the bloc’s policy on returning irregular migrants to their home countries, draw up a code of conduct for non-governmental organizations operating in the Mediterranean and increase assistance for the IOM.

Italy’s center-left coalition led by the Democratic Party was defeated at the mayoral election on June 26, receiving support in only six out of 17 traditionally “left” provincial capitals. The members of the right-wing coalition, mainly represented by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party and Lega Nord, received the majority of votes in 16 out of 25 cites.

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