My editorial for Thursday's Business over Tapas began with this:
'The Partido Popular are now looking for a replacement for Cristina Cifuentes following the scandal surrounding her master’s degree – sometimes known by the press as ‘Mastergate’. Cifuentes was lauded as the clean broom that swept away the years of corruption in the party, with her job as president of the Madrid community. Now another senior PP politician, Pablo Casado, has been found to have a master’s of equally dubious merit. Indeed, it begins to look like the King Juan Carlos University was handing these things out like sweets. Casado has cheerfully admitted: ‘I was not required to attend class nor to take exams: that was what I was told at the beginning of the master, and that was my case’...
Several stories of secretaries with impeccable PP contacts within the university are now surfacing and on Friday, the University fired the director of the master's degree of Ms Cifuentes in the classic case of closing the gate after the toro has escaped.
Also on Friday, several other PP deputies were found to have 'adjusted' their curricula in the parliamentary register. Not before one senior PP member, the Minister for Tourism (no less) was also found to have egg on his chin.
To add fuel to the fire - a Podemos deputy was also caught in the inquiry, but, being Podemos, he instantly resigned.
Supporters of the Partido Popular's unconventional way of acquiring titles (usually by taking 20% of the classes and paying a wallop for the rest) were encouraged to find that the PSOE leader for the Madrid Region calling for Cifuentes' resignation was himself allegedly guilty of a fake master's.
The days of '...y tú mas...' (Oh yeah? and what about you?) are back.
Cifuentes may not want to resign, one source suggests, as she would lose her aforamiento (parliamentary immunity) and would become available to the judges for questioning in the Púnica Investigation.
Now (in passing), a senior police chief has been outed as another client of the express-titles from the same URJC.
Pressure now comes from the Spanish electorate, and also from the European Union. In short, this can not continue. The Partido Popular is committing suicide in the plain light of day say the columnists.
My Thursday editorial ended with:
'...As for the university and its apparent taste for base commercial practice – it too is now under investigation'.
My item today ends with this:
The Government of Spain is now bound to fall within weeks. Either with a motion of censure, an interruption from the Constitutional Court or from the abrupt resignation of Mariano Rajoy.