German tennis star Boris Becker yesterday denied that he is trying to curry favour with the Majorcan planning authorities in a bid to try to speed up the legalisation and planning permission for his farmhouse in Arta, in the north east of the island.
I am going to obey the law just like any other citizen, 33-year-old Becker said, as he emerged from a meeting with the President of the Insular Council, Maria Antonia Munar, during which they discussed the former Wimbledon champion's plan to set up a tennis school on the island and organise a series of sporting events. Munar expressed a great deal of interest in Becker's project and plans and said that he can count on the co-operation of the Insular Council. For Becker, it was good to hear some positive feed-back and response as over the past few weeks he has been bogged down in a bitter divorce from his wife Barbara, revelations of a love-child with Russian model Angelika Ermakova, and a new girlfriend. Becker said yesterday that now it is all over he intends to spend long periods of time at his Majorcan farmhouse. I intend to come even more often than I have over the past four years, I like being in Spain and was pleased to see the tennis teams win the Davis Cup, he said, before adding he still does not understand how Spain managed to lose in the first round to Holland. Becker had apparently planned to see in the millennium at his farmhouse, but building was behind schedule and there were planning problems. The renovations he has ordered on the property have still yet to be approved by the Insular Council's planning commission. Munar said there will be no exception made for Mr. Becker, but he has offered us full co-operation in the sporting world which we are going to make the most of because of his talent and brilliant experience in the world of tennis. The problem with his property is that the main 954 square metre building is nearly twice the permitted size of 500 square metres. While he would be allowed to build four buildings no larger than 500 square metres each, and in fact Becker's option of linking the buildings together is preferable, the Insular Council has yet to approve the renovations.