A Canadian university professor was named Italy's new junior minister of agriculture in a bizarre mix up.
Francesco Braga, who teaches derivatives at the University of Guelph, was at his southwestern Ontario home Monday night when he noticed that the Web site of an Italian newspaper had named him as the new junior minister of agriculture.
Braga he left his homeland 28 years ago and he has no political affiliation.
He had retired for the evening only to get up a few hours later to mark exams, when at 4:26 a.m., an official-looking e-mail from the Italian agriculture ministry rolled in asking him to call immediately.
Meanwhile, Italian newspaper Web sites had already posted photos of Prof. Braga and the country's new agriculture minister, Mario Catania, was quoted in the press as praising the Italian-Canadian professor even though he only knew him by reputation.
It was only after a series of phone calls, including exchanges with the Italian Prime Minister's department, that the gaffe was finally revealed. The posting was meant for Franco Braga, a civil engineering professor at Rome's Sapienza University.
After the blunder was revealed, the professor learned that he was nevertheless considered for the post at one stage. Italian-Canadian dual citizens, such as Prof. Braga, can vote and run as candidates in Italy's parliament.