Updated: Nov 16, 2020
Another scandal rocks the Spanish Government as two leading politicians are suspected to have forged their Masters degrees
Everybody does it, so they say. Embellishing your CV is part of the game of earning that dream job. Puffing a role as a meek data entry clerk into one of a upwardly mobile middle manager, maybe, omitting your below par scores from your academic qualifications to avoid losing the shine off that certificate. Yet, whole sale invention of posts or even qualifications? Nobody would try such outlandish arrogant feats outside of Leonardo de Caprio hit film scripts, would they? Certainly not someone in the public eye? Surely not?
It seems Spain’s political class have found a new way to impress their population with their corrupt sensibilities. Not content with relentless revelations of financial corruption that have deadened the senses of the Spanish populace to civic morals, now, the ruling party have brought a new scandal to the table, fake degrees.
There are two main political parties in Spain, the Popular Party and the Socialist Party, I often jest that the Popular party is not popular, while neither is the Socialist party socialist. The Popular party President of the Madrid region, Cristina Cifuentes and the deputy head of communications for the party, MP Pablo Casado have become embroiled in accusations of falsifying Masters degrees from King Juan Carlos University in Madrid. The story first broke on eldiario.es on March 21st. Cifuentes heaved her trusty politician’s shield of outraged denial, threatened to sue the site and then produced a certificate to put an end to the claim. Two of the three people whose signatures feature on the certificate insist their signatures were forged and the University can find no evidence of Cifuentes’s dissertation, which she has mysteriously failed to produce. Casado meanwhile told a press conference that he was never expected to attend classes or sit exams, a statement which is likely to have won him no friends with the University administration.
There have been furious calls for the pair to resign, but as of yet the only victim has been Laura Nuño, the deputy director of the Institute of Public Law, the department of the University which Cifuentes is said to have studied. Nuño discovered her signature had been forged and cited a lack of trust as she resigned, stating she had never taught Cifuentes back in 2012. Academic circles are disgusted at the devaluation of their field by tawdry political favoritism and back scratching and not even the most ardent PP supporter can see how Cifuentes and Casado can escape resignation. Outright denials followed by outrageous counter claims of conspiracy will fade to the dread “vote of support” so familiar in football circles and the pair will have no option left but to resign in disgrace.
When Cifuentes does fall on her forged steel, it will see the PP lose overall control of the Madrid regional government merely compounding the misery for President Rajoy, struggling to get his budget passed as five Basque MPs will not vote in favour until direct rule over Cataluña is lifted. Furthermore a German court refused to extradite rogue Catalan separatist leader, Carles Puigdemont, who is gallivanting around Europe, failing to evade detention, but constantly avoiding extradition. It is all rather farcical and may help to remind Brits that we don’t hold a monopoly on outlandish political tomfoolery, but be warned, Boris Johnson has just asked me to hold his beer…