Hilarity marks use of Sócrates’ image by Brazilian educational institute

Amid all the serious stories assailing Portugal and the rest of the world, a moment of hilarity has been shared nationally after what was billed as “one of Brazil’s leading educational institutes” has made use of the image of former prime minister José Sócrates – only recently released from jail – to promote its courses.

The CEDERJ Foundation has been described as “ashamed” by the faux-pas, which it has blamed on an unworldly student.

“Thank you so much for calling us”, rector Leonardo Viana told Expresso yesterday, guaranteeing that there will now be a “thorough investigation” into how this ridiculous clanger could have happened.

“Without these telephone calls, none of us would have been any the wiser,” he added.

Viana explained that neither he nor any others in charge at the institute even knew who the man in the poster – clearly José Sócrates in a gown and wearing glasses – was.

“We truly didn’t know anything about this! Nothing like this has ever happened before,” he added, failing to realise that nothing like this has ever happened to Portugal either.

Sócrates is the first prime minister ever to have been jailed for nine months without any formal charges, and his latest appeal against preventive custody is now due to be heard by an appeal court judge who has frequently spoken out against the dubious legality of Sócrates’ detention.

Meantime, it is unclear what is happening over this poster, which Expresso points out is misrepresentational for other reasons as well.

Not only is Sócrates a man with a university degree that has been repeatedly called into question, the CEDERJ institute is not “among the best” higher educational establishments in Brazil, at all.

Expresso claims that the first 100 of the list – as published by A Folha de São Paulo newspaper – bears “no sign of CEDERJ”, which it describes as a consortium of six universities numbering “around 12,000 students”.

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