Land contamination, UV problem increasing, Bank security, Flasher on PS, etc.

TODAY’S PHOTO thanks to Tobi … the Queen Elizabeth II on her final ever visit to Madeira yesterday. Thanks also to Vic and Helen for sending in QE2 photos.

Football … darn!

Main News : source : Diário de Notícias 19/6/2008

Not much room left on the front page after 60% was taken up with a scary looking football fan with his face painted in Portugal’s colours.

Construction works on the new express road between São Vicente and Santana have contaminated 7,000 square meters of farming land according to 15 affected farmers. The government project, contracted to Zagope, has apparently allowed water containing chemical products to seep into the nearby agricultural areas. The farmers have delivered a petition to the appropriate government department to try and get something done. No chemical analysis has been carried out yet, but crops of corn, beans, pumpkins, mogangas, cucumbers, spring greens, and some fruits are contaminated with oil, diesel and others products. Must be a dreadful situation for these poor guys, who grow to feed their families. The way things work here it could take forever to resolve the problem which has already been ongoing for 7 months, let alone get compensation. One of the farmers interviewed said that he had lost everything, and he doubted whether the land would ever be usable again.

Anyone know what a ‘moganga’ is ?

The Commission of Public Works, Transports and Communications has formed a working group to investigate and deal with the subject of air traffic and liberalisation of the air routes, which include those around Madeira … without any representative from Madeira. Relations between here and central government are strained enough as it is, so what idiot came up with that great plan?

Other News :

UV (ultraviolet) light exposure gets another airing, with yesterday forecasted to hit factor 11, an “extreme level”. The increasing exposure is “not necessary due to a ‘worse’ state of the layer of ozone above Madeira”, but it’s geographical position clearly is a factor, and high levels are not just here for the summer, but all year around. Not very explanatory I know, so if the ozone layer is not the problem, why are the UV levels increasing? Is Madeira drifting south towards the equator? Are we in danger of colliding with the Canary Islands?

I suppose we should consider ourselves very lucky, in that when we go to the bank we can talk to the cashier face to face, and not through a 3cm thick plate of reinforced glass, and generally bank security seems pretty non existent, and certainly is not in your face … well I like that anyway. Maybe that will change, as the Diário tells the story of a bank robbery that netted €1,200 in Funchal on Tuesday. Two couple walked into the bank, and whilst one couple distracted the cashier, the other couple managed to extract the large notes from the cashiers till under the counter. Nobody noticed the theft until later, when the police were then notified.

Staying with the theme of unusual crimes, Porto Santo has it’s first flasher. Apparently a local man in his 40’s regularly goes out and displays his merchandise in the street, and then runs back into his house. The Police have warned the man, but it seems there is little else they can do. A couple of quotes from the article : “Given the frequency of the actions, many people are astonished by his exhibitionism”. The tension is now hotter than ever, because, according to an inhabitant of that street, “you cannot go out to smoke a cigarette, or simply put out the trash, without witnessing these degrading scenes”.  I just report the news, I don’t make it!

Wednesday in the Regional Assembly of Madeira saw the approval of the new smoking laws by the PSD “friend of the smokers”. Despite opposition parties voting against the proposals and saying that what was going on was illegal (that Madeira cannot modify a national law), the amendments went through comfortably on the vote. What these amendments mean is that subject to ratification in Portugal:

1. Bars, cafes, & restaurants of less than 100 sq metres can be smoking areas.

2. Such places do not need to install smoke extraction equipment.

3. Both the Porto Santo Ferry and Madeira Casino can have areas designated for smokers.

4. Tobacco companies can sponsor sporting events of international interest (such as the Madeira Wine Rally).

I am sorely tempted to give the government a good slating here, but with more than enough political debate already this week, I will give it a miss today.

In the same session in the assembly, the matter of fuel prices was debated, with opposition parties pushing for a reduction in the rates of fuel tax (ISP) as they have in the Azores. The PSD overturned the debate, even though they have the powers to cut those taxes. In the Azores the tax reductions in place are -6.3% petrol, -34% diesel, -63%  diesel for fishing, and -51% for butane gas.

Sunday night saw an invasion of flying ants between Ribeira Brava and Calheta. Some businesses had to close their doors to protect their customers from the pests. I also met a few personally that night. We seem to get this for just one night every year here in Rib. Bra., but it seems to be much earlier this year, but I could be wrong. On our balcony we have an invasion of normal ants most nights, but rarely see them during the day. Nocturnal ants, or long term effects of poncha … you decide!

If you were in the first phase of tax returns this year (straightforward employment and pensions only) any tax refunds due should be with you shortly. 4.63 million tax returns were received by Finanças this year, an increase of 4% on 2007. Those submitted by internet increased 20%, to 3.19 million.

Yesterday saw our blog hit a new monthly visitor record, and today it will pass the 4,000 visitor mark, and it’s only the 20th of the month … amazing! Thanks so much for reading and especially for taking part!

Aside from your valued blog responses (you can reply direct using the form at the bottom of each blog comments page), please send any unreported Madeira news, photos, events information, or snippets for the madeira4u blog to – anyone can join in! Thank you!

16 thoughts on “Land contamination, UV problem increasing, Bank security, Flasher on PS, etc.”

  1. what can I say about last night, except darn! I would have called them a bunch of cheats except CR also joined in the theatrics. First two goals were down to poor defending and man marking by Portugal, fair enough. What I found hard to accept was that in the first half Portugal were so dominant down the right hand flank, so why did they switch Simão around in the second half? And Germany's Ballack whose cheating got the winning goal by pushing his team mate (at Chelsea) away from a clearance header … I wonder if he stopped to think who his boss will be next season … Scolari won't forget that for sure. Poor refereeing also played a part with an offside that never was, and two incidents of Germans trying to maim Portuguese players ended in just one yellow card. Big shame.

  2. It isn't just you, Der, that has problems with our president and his policies. I was recently talking to a senior party member on the island, who said that it was increasinly difficult to work with AJJ because he has lost sight of the fact that he cannot do exactly what he pleases without regard to the law or budgets. He went on to say that the man has been in office too long. I won't disagree with him there!!!

  3. All of what you say is true Der about the football. However, I would maintain that Portugal just didn't deserve to win it. They were frequently lacklustre, and the final pass around the German area was generally dire. Simao was hopeless in the second half, and CR was played out of the game completely. Although ballack clearly fouled his Chelsea teammate, what was Ricardo doing? What does it say of the master tactician going to Chelsea I wonder – they have looked like doing great things for most of the time he has been in charge here, but never delivered (remember Greece 4 years ago!!).

  4. physically Germany were far more dominant, and they used their size advantage well, often illegally, to force the game against a Portuguese side that was more talented individually. I just looked at the match stats on the BBC website and all the stats point in favour of Portugal … the only stat that was greater for Germany was the number of fouls. Within the first 3 minutes of watching the game I thought Portugal were not going to win.

    I never heard of a moganga before, and it's not even in my dictionary, so thanks for that Andrew (I though it was a mispelt strawberry at first).

  5. Well Portugal are out, Ronaldo is off, and Scolari is blue.

    Brave effort in a very entertaining game. So I will now turn my attention to the Dutch who are playing wonderful football. But it will probably end up as a Germany v Italy final and I will end up having an early night a week on Sunday.
    Is it just me or is Simão Sabrosa’s body frame a slightly odd shape or had I had a little too many ‘refreshments’

    Don Amoro – I’m a big fan of yours actually but I didn’t want to upset the competition here. We’re just starting to get along nicely you see after our somewhat ‘hostile’ introduction. lol

    Tobi – Do you work for The Caring Company?

    Just a quickie. Smoking should be banned in all public places – no arguments. It’s a filthy dirty habbit which is of no benefit to anybody. Why people still think it’s social activity is beyond me. If you want to burn money every day give it to me instead…. Oh here I go again…..Calm down.
    How about increasing the tax on ciggies to reduce the tax on fuel? Would that work?

    Banks and their ‘openness’.
    It is refreshing to visit banks in Madeira where you can walk in and not feel like you’re going to visit someone in prison. It is very open and personal. Unfortunately crime is on the increase.

    The problem is many Madeirans have spent years overseas and picked up the bad practices and activities from their host countries and I feel that this is slowly infiltrating itself back into these islands like a bad decease.
    I have known a few people leave Madeira and come back a totally different person and not always for the better.

    The Flasher: The Police have warned the man, but it seems there is little else they can do.
    Well they could have a whip round for the poor bloke and buy him some boxers couldn’t they?

    A few days ago on this blog Der was talking about lack of signs and safety equipment on the beaches in Madeira.
    Well back in the UK beach safety is taken to a whole new level with a new road style sign which warns bathers that the sea, apart from going out, actually comes back in as well. It simply reads ‘Beware Of Incoming Tide’

    What next?
    Warning – Avoid getting sand in eyes and other hard to reach places.
    Caution – Rock pools may contain live animals.
    Hazard – The sea may generate waves?

    ‘Please get me out of here’

    After creating the world God was so pleased with His work He gave it a kiss and Madeira was born.

  6. Vic – the flying ant story came from the Diário, so it must be true!

    Carlos, thanks for that fine contribution. Don and I don't compete, his is a quality blog that promotes the virtues of Madeira, and probably passed the 4,000 visitor mark a couple of weeks ago. What's the sea temperature where you are … perhaps they should have a warning about that too.

  7. are these stupid (but important) word verification things you need to enter to post a blog message getting easier to read, or am I getting the hang of this now? I think every post I did this week has worked first time.

    At one time I would look at the letters and numbers before doing a response just to make sure I could read it, otherwise I would leave it until later.

  8. I have just come back from the European Golden Oldies Rugby competition … it is good fun and quite a sizeable event. If you are at a loose end on Sunday, pop along. I will put a photo and a bit more info on the blog tomorrow.

  9. hi der would love to come along to rugby, if you could email me with more information would be most appreciated.

    And Carol it seems that you and i agree on a few points.

    But does this mean that you disagree with some of the president's choices? Whats your feeling on the smoking ban, is AJJ doing what the people who put him there want?

    This should keep things rolling along quite nicely for a while. And if it so happens to make the site visitor count go up, who can complain?

    Weather, is too hot for me to go out into the direct sunshine here, but love looking out on the sea in this bright light 🙂


  10. Hi all, what a busy week its been on here.
    So who is sorting out the poncha night?
    Carlos When are u in Madeira?, and yes im working for The Caring Company.

    Now i didnt know this , and not sure if any of you know this , but there is a News Paper, from portugal out every week written in English, i know this will prob be mainly mainland, it is out every Thursday i think, and costs 1.50. The website is, and it can be read online just like reading a normal paper.


  11. trying to do me out of a job Tobi? I have seen it before, but you only get free access online to the ads pages … the news has to be paid for … with madeira4u blog you get it DAILY and FREE!

  12. Re the No Smoking debate! Perhaps AJJ is not being so selfish after all? After spending a holiday in Madeira in early May where as a smoker I was quite happy sitting outside in the reasonable weather enjoying my vile habit I returned to the UK to find along with others, I had been laid off from work (60 per cent of the workforce) due to the smoking ban. Local pubs without a garden are closing at a rate never seen before! All the "Non-Smokers" that the press led us to believe were going to flock to the pubs to enjoy their pub grub in a smoke-free atmosphere haven't arrived leaving particularly city pubs going broke. As Der mentioned recently even going outside of a pub is deemed to be creating a noise problem. Surely the more democratic solution was to give the licencee the option of being Smoking or Nonsmoking and the choice of using either to the individual. I used to have sympathy for the non smokers in the pub but now hearing the moans about being left on their own at the bar whilst friends ore outside, moaning about the smell of beer of all things and the other smells that have become more apparent sorry my heart bleeds. As I gather on the website most people enjoy a bevy or three, can I suggest stay and enjoy it in Madeira-it's no fun now in the UK even if you can afford it!

  13. agree with you Don, common sense has just gone out the window. Crazy here as the ban was implemented without any problems, so why reverse the decision. Sorry to hear you lost your job but is the pub trade generally really in that bad a state?


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