A report in the New York Times says that the leaders of Italy’s populist parties asked the country’s president on Monday to accept a little-known law professor as their consensus candidate for prime minister.
“The name we gave to the President of the Republic is the name of Giuseppe Conte,” Luigi Di Maio, the leader of the anti-establishment Five Star Movement, told reporters after meeting with the president, who has the power to reject the nomination.
Mr. Di Maio called Mr. Conte “a professional of the highest level,” intimately aware with the nation’s problems as a child of the peripheral south. Mr. Conte, he said, “is a self-made man and he’s a tough guy.”
He added, “You all will see.”
Meanwhile, on his resume Mr. Conte lists research at famous universities around the world, including Yale, the Sorbonne in France and New York University, where he said he “perfected and updated his studies” while staying at the college for at least a month every summer between 2008 and 2012.
Asked about Mr. Conte’s experience at N.Y.U., Michelle Tsai, a spokeswoman, said Monday, “A person by this name does not show up in any of our records as either a student or faculty member,” adding that it was possible he attended one or two-day programs for which the school does not keep records.
Amid the dozens of courses Mr. Conte listed teaching on his résumé, he included a summer class at the University of Malta called “European Contract and Banking Law.”
A spokeswoman for the University of Malta said that the university has no record of Guiseppe Conte ever forming part of the resident academic staff.
“However, this does not exclude that he may have been involved in lecturing duties during short courses organised in the summer of 1997 by the now defunct Foundation for International Studies (FIS) which was a separate entity that worked in close collaboration with the University of Malta,” the spokeswoman said.