Dear Sir, HOW very proud your citizens must be of Rafa Nadal's excellence in the Australian Open yesterday. Not only did he prove himself the world's Number 1 in men's tennis but as always he was the epitome of a true sportsman.

This is the second time I have witnessed him consoling Roger Federer after winning an important event. Instead of the free joy expressed by so many athletes achieving in part only what Nadal has, he chose to be cognizant of what losing was to Federer. How very rare. The virtues he possesses-humbleness, awareness and restraint is the greatest of strengths. Then there is his amazing talent. What a gift from your lovely land you have given us all ! Don and Stephanie Midgett

Ojai, California, By Email
Dear Sir, Re: Crackdown on illegal rentals
I don't understand the Balearic Governments stance on helping the tourist industry. Isn't it true that these so called hidden beds must make a significant contribution to the Islands economy?

Don't these visitors hire cars, spend money in restaurants and shops? Not every one wants to stay in hotels and these properties are clearly filling a need! The Islands are out of step with other countries in the EU such as France and Austria who encourage this type of accommodation and recognise its importance to the tourist economy. I am sure many of these properties would want to regularise their status but a penal rate of 4000 euros per bed will force people to put their properties up for sale further depressing the property market and the economy in general as they will not be able to absorb such excessive charges.

Philip Bleakley.
Dear Sir, Re: Crackdown on illegal rentals
I've written about this before. It was from the start a bad policy poorly implemented. I rather like the word “illegal.” When the owners of these properties bought them were they told about this, or that perhaps this could happen? We nearly bought an apartment there about 2 years ago and were told by the Estate Agent that the licences only applied to larger properties not apartments. Obviously wrong! I really don't understand what the problem is when the people who stay in these apartments go out and spend their money in the local economy. You said last week in this newspaper that there had been more bookings for the “all inclusive” option. Well, that's going to do everyone a lot of good isn't it! Obviously the power of the hotel lobby prevails. Haven't the Government woken up yet and smelt the music? This beautiful island should be welcoming people and accommodating them as to their needs. The Government is too slow and living in the past. Every night on most channels here as an example, we have an advertisement for Cyprus as the “all year round island destination.” Come on, get a grip.

Stuart Allsop, (UK)