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first_imgAnd fellow Democratic Party politician Caterina Bini, an MP, tweeted: “Conte is a serial liar. He hasn’t withdrawn from the competition at Sapienza. It is a clear, repeated, grave conflict of interest for president of the council [prime minister] albeit only formally in office.” The last line is a jibe at Conte’s supposed lack of authority in the Italian government.POLITICO reported last week that the prime minister was in the running for the job. Conte had first applied for the professorship in February, before he became prime minister at the head of a coalition between the populist 5Stars and the far-right League.Documents seen by this publication confirmed that the prime minister was shortlisted for the post, but legal scholars said his application was in breach of laws designed to prevent corruption and conflicts of interest in recruitment to public universities.Speaking at a press conference in Rome on Thursday evening, after the publication of the POLITICO story, Conte said: “I will have to reconsider my participation due to institutional engagements.” But two people with knowledge of the application said subsequently that Conte had not withdrawn his application in writing.Asked on Monday to comment on the postponement of the exam, both other applicants for the position and the university’s judging committee declined to comment. Also On POLITICO Italian PM’s job application splits opinion By Silvia Sciorilli Borrelli Giuseppe Conte ‘reconsiders’ job application amid protests By Silvia Sciorilli Borrelli ROME — Italy’s prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, has not withdrawn his application for a prestigious university position, despite promising last week to “reconsider” whether to go ahead following criticism that it would breach rules aimed avoiding conflicts of interest and corruption.Conte had been due to sit an exam as part of the selection process for the private law professorship on Monday. But the judging panel at Sapienza University told the two other candidates Professors Mauro Orlandi and Giovanni Perlingieri that the prime minister would not sit the test that day and offered them the option to postpone. They decided not to go ahead with the oral exam after a brief consultation among themselves.The revelation that Conte had decided not to renounce his application prompted immediate criticism from political opponents. “Prime Minister Conte how worthy are your words?” tweeted Simona Malpezzi, the deputy speaker in the senate, “You told Italians: I will not take part in the competition for the chair at Sapienza. Could you please show us how and when you withdrew? Because we don’t have any sign you’ve done it.”last_img read more

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