Julio Concepción, a councillor for the leftwing Podemos party, has criticised plans by Tenerife’s regional government to privatise the island’s three casinos, arguing that they were still making a profit.
“Despite the efforts of the CC and PSOE government to hamstring Tenerife’s three publicly-owned casinos to justify their privatisation, these business will once again report a profit this year, with economic gains of E2.1m,” Concepción stated in a December note.
Concepción singled out the president of the Council of Tenerife, Carlos Alonso, contending that he had used “the neoliberal policy of cuts in staff and cuts in investment in material resources” to justify the privatisation of the casinos.
He added that spending cuts on personnel at the properties had amounted to more than E2.6m since 2007, and warned that the government planned a further E300,000 in cuts in staff expenditure next year, reducing labour costs to their lowest level in 17 years.
While Concepción has previously expressed his disagreement with the concept of publicly-owned casinos, he has since acknowledged they do contribute high quality jobs to the local economy and has been vocal in his opposition to plans by the Alonso, to privatise the venues.
The privatisation plans were first put forward in 2014, and would also see casino expansion in other hotels throughout Tenerife, but opposition from a number of officials and unions has delayed the process.