STAFF REPORTER

PALMA
THE breakdown in a promotional deal between the Balearic Government and Rafael Nadal, the Manacor-born world number two tennis champion, presents “a very bad image of the Balearics”.

That's the view of the former Minister for Tourism and PP deputy, Joan Flaquer.
Flaquer was commenting yesterday on the news that Nadal has pulled out of a deal with the Government to promote the Balearics because it reneged on completing the construction of a tennis centre of excellence in Manacor.

The deal between the Balearic Government and Nadal was signed during the previous legislature when the PP's Jaume Matas was the President.
In exchange for financing the construction of a state of the art facility in the tennis player's home town, Nadal agreed to promote the Balearics and sport on the islands.

However, on Friday, his representatives, International Management Group, said that he was pulling out of the deal, citing the failure of the Government to honour its side of the bargain.

While one phase of the facility has been completed, though still not opened, the new Government of Francesc Antich has said that it is not in a position to follow through with the second phase for “budgetary reasons”.

An explanation that Flaquer was quick to criticise yesterday.
He described it as a “ridiculous excuse” and said that the Government had managed to find money to bring Spanish musical acts such as Paco de Lucia or El Canto del Loco to the island, so why couldn't they find money to complete the sports centre.

He added that it was “a question of priorities” and that it was an “error” to let pass an opportunity to be associated with Nadal.
Flaquer said that the current Socialist-led Government had let the project “drop to one side” because the PP were the ruling party in the Manacor Council.

The Minister for Sport, Mateu Cañellas, reacting to Nadal's decision on Friday said he was “sad” at hearing the news but believes the tennis player's reaction was “logical” given that the construction of the centre had become “political”.

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