Giuseppe Conte, the Italian Prime Minister elect faces scrutiny over numerous academic claims on his CV centering around New York University and other institutions. (Photo: Wikimedia/Jean-Christophe BENOIST)
Giuseppe Conte, the Italian Prime Minister elect faces scrutiny over numerous academic claims on his CV centering around New York University and other institutions. (Photo: Wikimedia/Jean-Christophe BENOIST)

Everyone likes to project a positive image, maybe not nihilists or wasps, but across the board, it’s generally the done thing. This would be especially relevant when it comes to matters of career progression and applying for new jobs. But there’s a fine line between a light gilding of the truth and outright lies.

How much is too much? You know, that bit at the end of your CV when you’re meant to talk about ‘Hobbies and Interests’? Does a solitary school trip to Val-d’Isère when you were 11 really qualify you as a ‘keen winter sports enthusiast’? Or should you tell the truth about binge-ing on ‘Game of Thrones’ in you’re underwear whilst inhaling tubs of Ben and Jerry’s? It would seem that it’s generally accepted that a teensy weensy white lie does no harm, at least anecdotally.

So you 'Enjoy going to the theatre regularly'. Yeah right, you went once, in 1997 and the tickets were free.
So you ‘Enjoy going to the theatre regularly’. Yeah right, you went once, in 1997 and the tickets were free.

One man, who appears to be a master of the above approach is Giuseppe Conte. Giuseppe, a 54 year old law professor, has caused quite a stir. He could be the next Italian Prime Minister and his CV, well, it’s quite imaginative, or at least creative, depending on your interpretation.

The CV, which is available online, states that he “perfected his legal studies” at NYU. Now, if you were reading that statement it’d be perfectly reasonable to assume that Mr. Conte had undertaken some sort of formal study at New York University. Nope, he had a library card. That’s pretty much it. Guissepe had permission to carry out research using the facilities at NYU library between the summer months of 2008 and 2014.

Speaking to the New York Times, a spokesman confirmed that there was no record of Mr Conte having studied at NYU.

Understandably, political opponents are calling foul over Giuseppe’s academic claims. However the ‘Five Star Movement’, not a cover band for the 80’s pop group, but one of the political parties who have proposed Mr. Conte’s candidacy, have pointed out that “[He] had written at no point to have completed courses or masters at the university”. They added that Mr Conte had also benefited from developing his English language skills.

The questions don’t stop there though. Cambridge University have been unable to confirm his claims of conducting ‘scientific research’ there in 2001. Whilst in Vienna, the International Kultur Institut is still puzzling out how he worked on his legal studies when they do not offer courses in law.

Mr Conte, who tutors private law, was nominated by the leaders of the two coalition parties in Italy’s newly formed government. Everyone now has to wait for President Sergio Mattarella to offer his approval.

In the meantime we’re off to polish our 900 Pulitzer’s and tweak our CV’s.

 

 

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