Balearic government criticised for sponsorship

By Monika Prell

After the announcement of the withdrawal of sponsor Illes Balears, effective since the end of the 2006 season, the government of the Balearic Islands was criticised for ever engaging with the cycling team by the political party PSOE (Partido Socialista Obrero Español).

According to, the delegate Antoni Diéguez called the team's sponsorship "one of the biggest affronts of the sportsmen of the Balearic Islands." He added, "This patronage should never have been allowed to happen."

He calculated that "the high-level-sportsmen in the Balearic Islands receive every year 2.1 million euros all combined. Meanwhile "a professional team of Pamplona" like Caisse d'Epargne was sponsored by the government with "six million euros every year." He highlighted the fact that the government's biggest investment in sports, besides infrastracture, was going outside of the Islands.

Delegate Diéguez conceded that "the government has always said that this [the sponsorship] was a great business because they received a lot of advertising benefits," but he questioned this and cited the proof a lie being that the government "stopped the sponsorship as soon as they could." Summarizing, Diéguez said, "It has been an expenditure to the disadvantage of the sportsmen of the Balearic Islands."

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