A law professor who ‘doesn’t have a clue about politics’ is set to become one of Europe’s most powerful men

Giuseppe Conte

Reuters/Remo Casilli

  • The Italian law professor Giuseppe Conte is tipped to be announced as the country’s new prime minister.
  • Conte will be the figurehead of the uneasy coalition between the country’s populist parties, the Five Star Movement and the Lega Nord.
  • The parties have been thrashing out an agreement since last week but are set to present their plans for government to Italy’s president, Sergio Mattarella, on Monday.

Italy is set to name Giuseppe Conte, a relatively unknown law professor with hardly any political experience, as its next prime minister, according to Italian media reports.

If named, Conte would be the figurehead for the uneasy coalition partnership between the country’s populist parties, the Five Star Movement and the Lega Nord, the Financial Times reported. The appointment could be presented to Italy’s president, Sergio Mattarella, as early as Monday.

Italy’s political system is unusual in that often, particularly during times of coalition government, its prime minister is not the leader of a political party but an appointed technocrat, generally put in place as a compromise between coalition partners.

Conte’s likely appointment fits that mold, with neither Five Star nor the Lega keen to have a leader appointed from the ranks of its partner’s party.

Conte — who lectures in public-administration law at the University of Florence and the University of…

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