The Eurovegas project proposed by multimillionaire businessman Sheldon Adelson in Madrid is so far just that: a project. But the local Popular Party in the Socialist-run Madrid dormitory town of Parla has already started looking for workers to make it a reality, even though construction work is not planned to begin on the mega casino complex until the end of this year.
Parla is located just 20 kilometers from Alcorcón, the future site of the development. The town's local PP officials have taken up the role of a make-shift employment agency: gathering, classifying and delivering potential employees for the project developers at Las Vegas Sands. Since the initiative was posted earlier this week on the blog of the Parla PP, the group has received 50 resumes from aspiring workers.
The PP's campaign has generated controversy on the social networks, where the party is accused of becoming an overly optimistic recruiter for the development. "I understand that the job market is very bad right now and people are desperate, but a political party collecting resumes for a private company..." wrote Amós Oviedo on Twitter.
Blogger Alex Valiente also tweeted to condemn the move: "The PP of Parla, office of Human Resources for #Eurovegas... A terrible shame!"
Parla PP leader Miguel Ángel López defended the initiative by saying it was about helping people find much-needed jobs. "People will not care about the project, they want to work, and if the mayor will not take the opportunity to seek these jobs for political reasons, we will," he said.
López added: "It's amazing that the Socialist government of the city with the highest unemployment rate in the whole region, 16,000 jobless, prefers to formulate policy against this project rather than exploit the employment opportunities that it is going to generate and that might provide great relief to many families."
He clarified that he would not be finding work for anyone, only promising to deliver the applications he receives to the construction company managing the project, once, of course, that company has been selected.
The town's Socialists said the initiative was just "selling smoke," branding it "propagandistic and populist." The deputy secretary of the local party, María José López Bandera, believes the PP's move may even be "illegal" as a political party cannot function as a "placement agency for a private company."
The CCOO labor union also attacked the PP's measure, referring to the fact that the Parla PP leader forms part of the development's compensation board.
The union said the project has been "hijacked" for years because the "fall in land prices resulting from the bursting of the bubble and the subsequent crisis does not sit well with some of the landowners, including Mr López."