Italy's new prime minister is a man who until this week the majority of Italians had never heard of.

His name is Giuseppe Conte - he is a law professor with no political experience.

Conte was plucked from obscurity by the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement and the far-right League to head their big-spending government on Monday.

Despite the country being in limbo since March's inconclusive election, President Sergio Mattarella took his time to endorse Conte, only handing him the mandate to form a government late on Wednesday (May 23) night.

The 53-year-old has already faced accusations this week of inflating his academic credentials - something he denies.

But both parties stuck by him and piled pressure on Mattarella to accept their recommendation.

Conte now must prove he can lead the euro zone's third largest economy... a daunting task.

But first he'll have to return to Mattarella with his cabinet team and could have his government sworn in early next week.


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