The resignation on Tuesday of Spain’s Socialist Party (PSOE) Health Minister Carmen Montón set the agenda for a parliamentary session in Congress on Wednesday, with the subject of the academic qualifications of Spain’s leading politicians dominating the debate.
The leader of the center-right Ciudadanos group, Albert Rivera, voiced for the first time doubts over the content of the thesis written by PSOE Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, who holds a PhD in economics.
“There are reasonable doubts about your doctoral thesis,” he said to the PM during today’s debate. “Why are you hiding it?”
Sánchez replied by saying that his thesis had been “published in accordance with the current legislation.” He stated that his work had not been hidden, and accused Rivera of turning the session into a “quagmire.”
Both the PP and Ciudadanos have been speculating in recent months over the authorship of Sánchez’s doctoral thesis, but had not, until today, voiced in public a request for him to make the document available for scrutiny.
The prime minister’s thesis is currently published on an online network controlled by the Science, Innovation and Universities Ministry, but it is not accessible to the public unless the author grants authorization.
The PSOE, meanwhile, called for Pablo Casado to resign over his master’s degree.
“The prime minister has nothing to hide,” said PSOE spokesperson Adriana Lastra in Congress. “The person who has a real problem on his desk today is Mr Pablo Casado. Casado must resign. The ethical requirements of our democracy have been exemplified by the resignation of Carmen Montón. This is the path that Casado must follow.”
Among the ranks of the PP, there was satisfaction that the spotlight has now been turned onto the credibility or otherwise of the prime minister. But on the other hand, they had to go to great lengths to explain why the PP leader shouldn’t also quit over the irregularities regarding his own degree, and tried to contain the damage by claiming that a doctoral dissertation is not the same as a master’s thesis.