Xenophobic arguments have long been at the center of the political discourse of the Lega party in Italy, nonetheless Matteo Salvini, the new leader, capitalizing on diffused Romaphobia, placed Roma people at the center of his political discourse, institutionalizing the “Camp visit” as an electoral event. Through the analysis of eight consecutive electoral campaigns, in a six year period, mixing computer-based quantitative and qualitative content analysis and framing analysis, this study aims to display how Roma communities are portrayed in Matteo Salvini’s discourse. The study describes how “Gypsies” are framed as a threat to society and how the proposed solution—a bulldozer to raze all of the camps to the ground—is presented as the only option. The paper concludes that representing Roma as an “enemy” that “lives among us”, proves to be the ideal tool to strengthen the “us versus them” tension, characteristic of populist discourse.
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