By Humphrey Carter
MICHAEL Douglas may have left his on-screen troubles in War of the Roses long behind him, but he appears to have offended some of his new neighbours in Bermuda by officially pledging his support to the Balearics. The Oscar-winning actor has owned an estate in Valldemossa for over 20 years and has recently sold the Costa Nord cultural centre he set up four years ago to the new Balearic government in a four million euro deal which has also secured his help in promoting the Balearics as a tourist destination. Despite the fact that since he married actress Catherine Zeta-Jones he has spent somewhat less time in Majorca than he used to, Douglas, who signed the deal at the World Travel Market in London last November, will be appearing, for a determined length of time (rumoured to be 90 minutes) at the Balearics tourism stands at some of the world's main trade fairs over the next four years. The first is Berlin later this year. However, while the Balearic government was thrilled to bits with the deal and the hundreds of people who gathered round the Balearic stand in London for the Douglas press conference, some people in Bermuda, Michael Douglas's newly adopted “first home,” are not that impressed. One Bermudan businessman was quoted as saying this week “whether the Department of Tourism missed an opportunity to get him to do something similar to what he is doing in Majorca, people can draw their own conclusions.” Bermuda's Tourism Minister Neletha Butterfield, however, has quite simply said that they could not afford the kind of money the Balearics paid the actor. What is more, both Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones have made it quite clear that they already do all they can to promote Bermuda in interview and public appearances - and it does not cost the island, also home to Douglas's mother, a penny. It would appear that Douglas's relationship with the Balearics is becoming more “business than pleasure.” Apart from setting up home in Bermuda, he also has business interests in the local tourism industry and has spoken of his plans to help attract more tourists to the island. So while his agent Alan Bury denies any conflict of interests between Bermuda and the Balearics, one wonders who has been left short-changed.

OPINION By Jason Moore
WELL if Bermuda is annoyed with Michael Douglas for promoting the Balearics...it's just a case of hard cheese! Douglas has entered a four million euro contract with the Balearics to promote the islands across the world. It's a bit late now for Bermuda to get upset as the deal was unveiled almost three months ago in London. Anyhow, everybody knows that the Balearics are far superior to Bermuda. These islands are famous for their beautiful beaches and scenic coastline. The only thing that springs to mind about Bermuda is its infamous “triangle.” Everyone likes to back a winner and Douglas obviously realises that the Balearics are far superior. We got to him first so don't be bad losers, Bermuda, there are plenty of other stars.

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