CRISTINA Cifuentes, leader of the Spanish Government’s Popular Party in Madrid, is facing a fresh probe over claims that she faked a master’s degree qualification.
Pressure is mounting from two opposition groups, for Cifuentes to resign. Socialist party PSOE insists it will again attempt to force a vote of no-confidence against her, while Podemos has called for her to step down immediately.
Spain’s Public Prosecutor is now looking at evidence presented by King Juan Carlos University, which has contradicted her claims.
One of the tutors there now says he did not sign the degree certificate, amid claims that a signature was falsified.
But at a Madrid press conference, the 53-year-old woman said: “I am not going to resign because I have not lied about anything.”
The controversy comes after Spanish news website El Diario broke the news that the politician had failed to complete a degree in “public regional law”, at King Juan Carlos University (URJC), in 2012.
The regional leader claimed she had “misplaced” her thesis, but the university was also unable to release a copy.
Her certificate was, reportedly, altered at a later date to say she actually did have the qualification.
After being caught out, Cifuentes later said that she did not attend classes or take exams with other students, because, she claimed, she had a private agreement with university tutors to accommodate her busy schedule.
The entire incident is a major embarrassment to the PP party, which launched its national conference in Seville last weekend.
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