Palma.—The Partido Popular (PP), currently with a majority in the regional Parliament, has called for an all-party rally to come to the aid of Majorcan tennis star Rafal Nadal and other sporting figures who are being ridiculed on French television.

Following “Punch and Judy” style images of Nadal and colleagues being lampooned as dope takers on France's Canal Plus, PP Parliamentary spokesperson Mabel Cabrer said yesterday that the Balearic government should unite in opening up diplomatic channels to get the puppet sketches banned because they are completely without foundation and therefore defamatory. Cabrer said that a stop should be put to the outrage which is damaging the public image of the sportsmen, particularly Nadal “who behaves in an exemplary manner.” However, one response yesterday from Socialist MP Antoni Dieguez was that “with the high rate of unemployment here in the Balearics, don't we have anything better to talk about other than a French Punch and Judy show?”