Rome, Italy | May 21
With Europe and markets watching anxiously, Italy edged toward its first populist government Monday as the euroskeptic 5-Star Movement and the right-wing League identified a 53-year-old law professor with no political experience as their pick to become the country’s next premier.
Five-Star leader Luigi Di Maio named Giuseppe Conte as the choice after meeting with President Sergio Mattarella, saying Conte would be “a political premier of a political government.”
Following a separate meeting with the president, League leader Matteo Salvini, in a live video transmission on Facebook, called Conte an expert in trimming bureaucracy, “which is what many companies are asking for.”
It is up to Mattarella to accept Conte as premier-designate. The University of Florence professor neither participated in the campaigns for Italy’s parliamentary election nor in the drafting of the government program that he would oversee.
Conte, whom the 5-Stars initially presented as a possible public administration minister, has said that he traditionally voted to the left, but that such “ideological schematics” were no longer valid.
If the president consents, Conte would then bring a list of Cabinet members for Mattarella’s approval.