News desk
OPPOSITION deputies in the Balearic Parliament yesterday called on tourism chief Joan Flaquer to resign over the Rasputin strip club scandal, during a debate in which Pere Sampol, the Majorcan Socialist Party (PSM) spokesman accused him of being involved.

Juan Carlos Alia resigned as director of Ibatur (the Balearic Tourism Institute) after admitting he put a bill for seven people at the strip club on his expense account. He has since repaid the money but has refused to name the other members of the party. Both Flaquer and Balearic leader Jaume Matas, who were part of the delegation on the Moscow trip, have denied that they visited the club.

Flaquer has already appeared before Parliament to explain the case, which he considers closed. But during yesteray's debate, Sampol expressed doubts on the version given by Flaquer.

Sampol also said that until the names of the other six people who visited the club are revealed, “Flaquer is also involved,” and as the politician responsible for the promotional trip “he is also obliged to resign.” Sampol asked why there were no witnesses to say that he returned to the hotel after a dinner with Russian businessman Konstantine Kozhevnikov instead of going on to the strip club, as Balearic leader Jaume Matas had produced.

Socialist deputy Antonio Diéguez also called for Flaquer's resignation. He said he should resign because he was responsible for Alia's appointment and for the damage caused to the image of the Balearics.

Flaquer admitted that the scandal had damaged the Balearic image, and, after repeating his apologies, called on the other political parties to drop a matter which, in his opinion, “is no longer of interest,” because it has already been sufficiently explained.

Partido Popular deputy Antoni Mari Tur expressed his support for Flaquer.

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