In 2008, Pablo Casado enrolled in a Harvard Master’s program, the grandly named “Driving Government Performance”. It's one of the 3 “American” qualifications Casado's most proud of, citing his “Harvards” at every opportunity
Casado's course was offered by the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (University of King Juan Carlos) and actually took place in the University of Navarre-owned IESE business school in Madrid. The “Harvard program” consisted of an intensive 4-day course from 16 to 19 June
Casado's course was sponsored by the Community of Madrid, amongst others. Casado doesn't remember whether he received a scholarship or not. To pass the course it was only necessary to attend classes and do the coursework, but it seems the PP’s brand new leader did neither
Casado was awarded the degree with 18 out of 22 subjects being prevalidated - irregularly - with the remaining 4 dependent on presentating papers. 3 of the 4 pending subjects were taught by same tutor as disgraced ex-PP Madrid president Cifuentes had for her fake degree
Casado was given an “excellent” grade, which would've required 60-360 hrs of class - debates, activities, group work, exams, 90 pages of assignments, etc. Casado never attended class and, though he claims he presented all 4 pieces, no trace has been found
Casado and URJC claim all records from this period have been destroyed, though many contemporaries' end-of-degree projects are still available, many online. Perhaps it’s understandable Casado’s memory is hazy; that summer, he passed no less than 3 “postgraduate programs”
Most of the string of phantom PP degrees have been uncovered by investigative journalists. In this case, the principal investigation was undertaken by online newspaper @eldiarioes. Laudable that there are still brave souls doing this job in modern Spain.
Why do PP politicians – and a few from other parties – need to bolster their resumés with fake qualifications? Because they're career politicians? Because they've never worked outside the political sphere? Casado is one of those.
These “degrees” were mainly doled out by one university with a strong PP pedigree and deep PP affinity, the University of King Juan Carlos. It would be the university that bears the name of the immune delinquent king, wouldn’t it?
Such qualifications aren't necessary to represent people. Ordinary people hate the idea of the privileged getting grants from public administrations to get a string of "master's" doing no work, having no assignments assessed, never attending a class nor defending a thesis
Ordinary people see them as the cocks, the foxes and the crows of hubristic fables, boasting of their “wits” - their range of abilities, their skill-sets - to the single-skilled cats and hedgehogs. In the fables, they're not as clever as they think and always wind up dead
In real-life Casados always survive, moved on to a cushy job in the administration, pushed through a revolving door onto the board of a multinational company or a European institution, kicked upstairs, moved sideways, so many possible fates yet none involves being eaten