Hotel Profits, Drug matters, etc.

Nice sunny day here today, with the temperature in the low twenties. More problems at the airport yesterday morning with poor visability, with 4 planes forced to put down on Porto Santo and wait.

I am looking forward to this week when the christmas period is officially finished, and all the decorations should be coming down … It does rather drag on a bit. Which brings me to Tuesday (15th), which is the “Varrer Dos Armários” day … which literally means a ‘sweep-up of the cupboards’, or spring cleaning if you are a brit.

Not much in todays newspaper, except that the Madeira Pestana Hotel Group say that 2007 was its best ever year. I think they may well be saying that again next year, once a completed year has passed with all the new flights already commenced, and those new ones planned for 2008. The economy here could do with a boost, and one can only hope that those who directly benefit from increased tourism share their booty around a bit, at the least through increased employment.

A bit of leftover news from yesterday’s Diário de Notícias.

The seizures of heroine on Madeira made in 2007 increased around 700% compared to those in 2006.

The seizures included 90,720 individual doses of heroine, 204,752 of cannabis and 139,250 of cocaine (excluding 2 tons of drugs picked up offshore). 120 people of 12 different nationalities were arrested on connected charges, and 8 people died for drug related reasons, including 6 overdoses.

There is no real analysis given of the reasons for the increases, so you can either believe that the police are being more successful in drug seizures, or there are more drugs coming to Madeira (as the apparent increases in petty crime would suggest).

Anyone seen the heliport at Porto Moniz? It was built in 2004 at a cost of nearly €400,000, with the main purpose being for air-sea rescue. However it cannot be used for that purpose because the only helicopter available for air-sea rescue is the Merlin, which is to big and heavy to use the platform. Beside that, it is built in such a windy location, that even smaller helicopters would not be able to use it some of the time. You would laugh, except for the fact that it was paid for with taxpayers money!

Talk of the island today is Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored 3 times last night for Manchester United in a 6-0 trouncing of Newcastle, wearing his brand new ‘lucky’ orange boots. Meanwhile Porto thrashed Braga 4-0, virtually killing off the Portuguese premier league with a 11 point lead and just 14 games left to play.

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