The politics of distraction are on full display in La Linea, a Spanish town of some 60K residents that borders the British territory of Gibraltar. La Linea’s mayor, Alejandro Sanchez, has of late seen his popularity sink with the locals – 1 in 6 of whom are currently unemployed — and thus he’s been desperate to find some way to redirect voter anger away from himself. Hello, Gibraltar!
Because Gibraltar relies on phone and data lines that pass through La Linea, Sanchez has asked the Spanish government to provide him with the financial data of the 18 online gaming companies that currently conduct operations from Gibraltar. Never mind that the Spanish government lacks the authority to compel these companies to provide them with anything of the sort. Never mind that the Cordoba Accord of 2006 removed restrictions on Gibraltar’s telecommunications access. Never mind that Gibraltar’s 18 online gaming companies employ some 110 Spanish citizens who pump money into La Linea’s shops and restaurants.
There seems to be no tin-pot wannabe generalissimo who doesn’t feel he can earn some political brownie points by pointing the finger of scorn at online gaming. Shame on you, Alejandro ‘dirty’ Sanchez.