THE Balearic Minister for Tourism, Joan Flaquer, yesterday said in Parliament that the “publicity generated by television coverage” of the Majorca Classic Golf Tournament was worth “almost 19 million euros”.

He was justifying the Balearic Government's sponsorship of the event in reply to a question tabled by the opposition parties about the grant to the company responsible for organising the tournament.

An opposition MP accused the Government of using these grants as a “slush fund” to pay personalities, such as the Russian tennis star Anna Kournikova or model Claudia Schiffer, so that members of the Cabinet could have their photographs taken with them. Denying this, Rosa Puig (the Balearic Minister for Sport) pointed out that the Spanish Government's Representative, Ramon Socias, and the Spanish Minister of Public Works, Magdalena Alvarez, had also benefitted from this publicity.