Profile: Chiara Appendino (M5S)

Bocconi grad, 32, speaks four languages

(ANSA) - Turin, June 20 - Chiara Appendino, 32, is the new mayor of Turin.
    The anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) candidate lagged behind the frontrunner by 11% after the first round of voting in local elections June 5, and swept away 23 years of uninterrupted center-left administrations in the Piedmontese capital with her upset victory in Sunday's runoffs over Democratic Party (PD) incumbent Piero Fassino.
    "Judge me for who I am, and on the merits of my team," she repeated on the campaign trail.
    Appendino graduated from Milan's prestigious Bocconi University with a degree in international economy and a specialization in business planning and management. Her father Domenico Appendino is the executive vice president of Prima Industrie SpA, which designs, manufactures, and distributes a broad range of industrial laser cutting machines and systems. The company president, Gianfranco Carbonato, currently serves as chief of the Piedmont branch of Confindustria industrialists association.
    The new mayor is fluent in English, French, German, and speaks a little Spanish.
    She is married to Marco Lavatelli, mother to five-month-old Sara, and a Juventus supporter.
    She joined the M5S in 2010 and was elected to city council in 2011 with 623 votes. She has since waged hardcore opposition to outgoing mayor Fassino, who dubbed her "the Joan of Arc of public morals".
    Appendino ran on a platform as an "anti-system" candidate capable of replacing what she said was an existing network of cronyism and back-room deals with a genuine meritocracy.
    "Why don't you come sit in my chair and see if you can execute what you wish for," Fassino once snapped at her during a city council session.
    Appendino made it to the runoff vote without entering into alliances, although some center-right candidates gave her their more or less official endorsements.
    "We've been told we're the nay-sayers' party, but we have a 350-page program filled with yeses," she said.
    That program includes a five-million-euro youth employment fund to be paid for by a 30% cut in city hall managers and staff, and another fund to compensate robbery and mugging victims aged over 65.