Lido problems, Fuel petition, Portugal Ferry, Calheta festival, 'Golden oldies' rugby etc.

TODAY’S PHOTO : Praça do Município Funchal, on Sunday evening … the Portuguese fans anticipating something better than they ended up with in the Euro 2008 game against Switzerland.

Main News : source : Diário de Notícias 16/6/2008

Lead story is about the problems that occur daily in the Lido tourist zone in Funchal. Amongst the problems cited are petty crime linked to drug dependency, lack of police presence, a lack of proper street cleaning, and general traffic and car parking problems. One shop owner says that her shop has been targeted for theft six times so far this year. The Secretary for Tourism says that there are more tourists now, but according to one taxi driver that is not what they see in the Lido.  He recollects “after arriving at the taxi rank it was just ten minutes until carry the first customer arrived. Today, you arrive at the rank at 8.00am with over 20 cabs in front and, in 14 hours of work, I take between 20 and 25 euros”. Matters are worsened by the works for the renewal of parts of the drainage system, which will last until the end of this month.

And football of course … “The Portuguese deserved more … “.

Other News :

At the end of May I gave a link to a webpage where there is a petition for government to lower taxes on vehicle fuels see : . The government here has powers to lower the current levels of fuel tax by up to 30%. I signed it even though I won’t benefit directly, and I recognise one other blog reader’s name out of a measly total of 656 signatures. Even the famous Michael Mouse hasn’t visited and signed yet!

The Diário spoke with some of the passengers on the first ferry trip from Madeira to Portimão (Portugal) that left here Saturday and arrived there on Sunday. All spoken to seemed very pleased with the trip, and everything went without any reported hitches. Some went on family holidays in the Algarve, taking the car along too. Another took the trip for a game (or two?) of golf. One said the food was good on the ferry. On the 2nd leg of the journey (Funchal/Canary Islands) 57 passengers and 17 vehicles embarked … don’t worry, I won’t be reporting those figures on a daily basis, I am just scraping the barrel for news today!

A reminder that Calheta starts it’s festa (of several saints?) on Thursday where “the big star for many will be English singer Samantha Fox” (that’s on Saturday night I believe). The festa runs through to the 28th June, and includes parades, live entertainment, and an interesting sounding disco with the Wasps. I don’t have a programme and I just took a look at the Council (Câmara) website and found little there. If anyone has any information, happy to publish it here if you send it in.

Thursday sees the arrival of 40 rugby teams to Madeira to play the ‘IX European Golden Oldies Rugby Festival 2008’. The website gives the programme, with matches being played on Friday and Sunday, seemingly at the National Sports Stadium of Madeira in Ribeira Brava (back end, by Modelo). The matches last 40 minutes in total, and have some interesting rules, such as “All players must observe the restrictions on tackling ‘older’ players. These are identified by coloured shorts.” As it’s near to me I might venture out for a peek at some time.

More on :

Anyone been to the cherry festival? Any news or pics for the blog much appreciated.

Energy efficiency, those clean words, will apply to all property owners in Portugal (and Madeira of course), whether you are building anew, or have an existing property. The need for Energy Efficiency Certificates comes into effect from 1st July 2008, for all new properties. The architect should submit all the necessary energy efficiency measures being included in a new build, as part of the planning application. The planning application will only be approved if the required EE rating is achieved (B-, on a scale of A to G). However, from 1st January 2009, all existing properties will need to have a certificate. More news when (and if) I have it ….

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!

13 thoughts on “Lido problems, Fuel petition, Portugal Ferry, Calheta festival, 'Golden oldies' rugby etc.”

  1. I find some of your comments quite staggering yesterday.

    Der: at least they have their god to turn to when desperate.

    I realise this is not a religious blog but God is not someone you just turn to when desperate. With most Madeirans being devout Catholics God is seen as more than just a crutch when times are bad you know.

    Der: Many lucky people can turn a blind eye and sleep easy at night, lucky them, and the tourists of course probably have no idea of what life is really like here, lucky them.

    How would you describe poverty, Der? In Africa people are dying because they don’t have food, water or medicine. I can’t remember anyone dying from starvation or contaminated water on Madeira. In the UK one fifth of the population live in poverty. In the world more than a billion people live on less than a dollar a day. So just what is poverty anyway? It’s all around us.
    The question is what can we do about it?
    The answer is to start sharing more and get rid of the greed factor.

    Der: Madeira needs a political party for the people, not a party for the politicians. I don’t have a vote, so I can’t change things … only the Madeirans can vote to help themselves, or even better vote to help each other.

    Now I realise that we don’t see eye to eye on politics. That’s no problem we all have opinions. You air yours through your anti government blog.

    But I will repeat the facts in case you missed the point. The people of Madeira have eyes, ears, the ability to communicate, and are an intelligent group of people on the whole.
    For the past 30 years they have had a free vote. They could have voted for ANYBODY. Yet time after time after time they have voted for President Alberto João Jardim. In fact he can even resign in protest as happened in 2007 and still win an easy re-election. You can try and spin your way out of it but that is FACT.

    If he had done such a bad job and the island was on it's knees I am sure the people of Madeira would have spotted it sometime in the last 30 years and voted him out. If he had done such a bad job why haven’t those smaller parties formed coalitions to grab a larger share of the vote?

    President Alberto João Jardim will never be voted out. He will simply step down when he retires as one of the longest serving democratically elected leaders in the world.

    I am not quite sure what you would be hoping for as a political alternative? The tooth fairy? Father Christmas? The Genie in the lamp? Free beer for all?

    Perhaps before moving to the island you should’ve done a bit more research. Yes it’s a very religious country. Yes it’s a tough place to live and not as idyllic as the glossy guide books make out (where in the world is), yes animals are treated in appalling ways, yes Funchal is part of Madeira (I detect a distinct dislike to the capital on your part) And yes Alberto João Jardim is President.

    I do sometimes wonder why on earth you came to Madeira in the first place? Do i detect another Peter Roy style book on the horizon?

    Democratically elected by the good people of Madeira for 30 years.
    –President Alberto João Jardim

  2. err, why did I move here? Perhaps I have a right to do so and I thought Madeira was part of Europe, where we treat (or at least work towards) treating our citizens with respect and dignity, and helping the weak and less well off.

    This is not an anti-government or anti-Funchal blog, but it is a news blog, and it's aimed at helping others who want to know what is going on here. And you are knocking me for telling people the truth. If people don't want the truth they won't read this blog, and if the people who read this blog can't separate the facts from opinions (always in italics) then there is not much I can do.

    If you think that treating people with no respect or ignoring poverty is OK, just because it has always been that way, then you will never move on and we will never agree. And believe me things are going to get worse here before they get better.

    I don't mind you disagreeing with me even if you hide behind 'anon', but if you don't like what you read go and find another blog that is pro kicking the poor and weak in the nuts.

    If that doesn't boost todays readership, nothing will!

  3. Yes it's good to spice things up a little I think.

    Now I wasn't saying ignore poverty, in fact I gave my solution. I didn't see any solutions from yourself or any actions you had actually taken to eradicate poverty. We all have a part to play and poverty is not unique to Madeira. I wonder what actions you took whilst living in the UK for example? I also asked you what you thought poverty was bearing in mind the above facts I stated about UK, Africa and world poverty?

    I treat people with respect especially when in their birth land something I think you are finding a little difficult.

    So now you are saying you are the only person to read the local paper on Madeira. You have uncovered untold truths about the government that nobody else knows? For thirty years the PSD has ruled and you come along from nowhere with shocking and damning new evidence.

    We all know what local/regional papers are like.
    They tend to over sensationalise everything anyway. Just reading the front page of these local rags you may be forgiven that you are in Iraq or the Bronx sometimes.

    Der anyone who reads this blog knows you are anti government.

    You tend to report stories that are biased to your own views and beliefs. That is fine. It's your blog after all. But surely people should be able to come on here and balance things out with their own comments.

    Democratically elected by the good people of Madeira for 30 years.
    –President Alberto João Jardim

  4. As an ex-publican, I now understand why the two taboo items of discussion in a pub were known to be Religion & Politics, both at question in this current debate.Remembering this is a blog where local information can be read and appreciated by people no longer with the good fortune of living in Madeira but still with strong bonds with the island. Personal opinions will always show, the reason why we choose the newspaper we read dependant on our own stance. However, let the battle run on . providing of course it does not detract from the basic reason that myself and others read this blog daily with enthusiasm. By the way Der, as a lifelong fan of Man U, I do recognise sour grapes when I read them. Keep up the good work without being sidetracked

  5. Pls, Der, keep the comments coming, it enlighens the blog news a little with your added bit of wit!
    PAJJ is far too serious and needs to get a life!

  6. OK thanks for the feedback, especially the bit about my wit, but there are too many 'Anons'. Can you please give yourself a pen name rather than post anonymously. That's better for everyone, rather than having to register and log in to make comments. Thanks!

    Dealing with the most important point first. I try not to make this blog sound english and for english people, and deliberately avoid including english news unless directly relevant to Madeira. The main website states quite clearly that it is for english speakers, and that can be from any nation or nationality.

    But I will make an exception for the comment about me being anti Manchester United, which I am not specifically, and I have explained that here before. MUFC get more of my negativity on this blog only because they get mentioned more due to the fact that Cristiano Ronaldo plays for them. I am equally disrespectful of several english premiership clubs, because of the disregard they have for the fans and english football generally. Examples : pricing and ticketing policies forcing grass roots fans away from the teams they support, and sheer greed through TV rights money making the game unavailable to these fans, even at home. Then there is the use of that money to stock clubs almost totally with foreign players, effectively removing the opportunities for employing and developing many decent home grown players, and they are then effectively 'buying' silverware with the enormous profits. The effect of that on the national team is obvious, with 3 teams in the last 4 of the champions league, and yet couldn't even manage a team to qualify for the Euro 2008. I don't even want to start on the subject of cheating, both on and off the pitch.

    That said, you can see high quality club football in England and if the ex-publican can arrange some tickets for me for a MU game when I am on my next visit, I will take them willingly and go to the match … though I cannot promise who I will be supporting, don't totally rule out MU!

  7. I agree Der with your football post. There does need to be a limit on the number of foreigners playing in the league and also a minimum number of acadamy players or english players age under 21 in the starting 11 of all premier league teams.
    Totally unworkable due to EU law I know.

    Portugal – Germany. Now that's tasty and would not know which way to call it. But I will put on my Portuguese shirt and shout my heart out for my adopted country.

    And yes it's great to have daily Madeiran news in english. Keep up the good work Der.

    I think that was meant to be a compliment! You see you're not really that bad at all!

    Democratically elected by the good people of Madeira for 30 years.

    –President Alberto João Jardim

  8. Blimey , its taken me a while to read the comments today lol lol.
    Didnt go to the Cherry Fes Der, although i wanted to, but i hear alot of locals have been calling it the Cherry LEAF festival , due to the lack of cherries, and they were in our local fruit shop priced at €6.50 per kilo. Ouch…..

  9. wow, that took me a while to read through aswell. i find it amazing that some people won't put their name of who they are, its not as if its breaking any laws and they'll be hunted down with pick axes and torches.

    i find that the very straight forward reports of the predient's politcs enlightening and helps me take of my rose coloured specticals!

    In the uk the politicians are practically robbing all of their people in taxes and showin no sign of benefit. Yob culture terrorises some parts of the country and the gorvernment have wicked away practically all of our freedoms (ie. freedom of speech!!).

    The ppoint i am trying to make is that no matter what policians do they are always going to miss something out. Personal i think that the president should have tryed to secure as many jobs for his people in Madeira instead of forcing them out of the country to work!

    Good job i don't report news, because i think my tongue is a bit too far into my cheek.

    (Would the Pres like to tell me why he hasn't built a better infrastructure?)

    The only thing i have left to say is good work Der and keep it up.

    (sorry for all the spelling mistakes, and if my writing is a little disjointed , not had much sleep since i got out here!)

  10. ref your comments on Mcdonalds Der, agree with you on the burgers but they do some lovely ice cream ,and their french fries are pretty good to

  11. William. You should be ashamed of yourself. When I think of the cost of your education and all the time I spent driving you to Isabelle's. JUST YOU WAIT UNTILL YOUR MOTHER SEES YOUR SPELLING AND SUTCH BAD GRAMMAR !! Dad
    Sorry about that Der, what can I say? the youth of today, bringing the blog into disrepute.
    The weather has been quite nice don't you think?
    Sorry Sunshine Susan. I just couldn't resist something controversial. LOL
    Alan F

  12. Reply to the big fan of PAJJ, aka ANON – there are still a few loose ends that need to be clarified:

    I gather from your IP address that you are not on Madeira, so your stance is somewhat irrelevant. My stance on the issues facing Madeira are published on the website (yellow button – 'Sponsors').

    I am not anti-Funchal (if you mean that piece of land between Câmara de Lobos and Caniço) and I am not anti-government. I am however anti-greed, anti-corruption, anti-lies, anti-spin, anti-discrimination, anti-poverty … to name just a few. You might be surprised to know that my position would be equal in any country in the world with free speech, and that I am not picking on Madeira, just the wrongs on Madeira. I do it through a blog which everyone has the chance to read or to ignore, it's their choice.

    I Quote "I treat people with respect especially when in their birth land something I think you are finding a little difficult." What? … and what birth land would that be then for you? I am guilty of treating the government here with disrespect on many issues, but normally when that's what they deserve, and if they deserve respect they get that too – and the decent people that live here have my total respect. I am also guilty of sometimes putting spin / humour / or just take the p*** on some things I put on the blog, but I do not distort facts or mislead people.

    I didn't say I was the only person to read the local papers, but if everyone else could, then this blog wouldn't need to exist. I don't make the news … what you read mainly comes from the local newspaper, which if you were Madeiran you would be reading instead of coming to this blog. There is only one daily paper I can refer to, so I am not spoilt for choice, but if you think it is full of rubbish I am curious as to how you know that if you don't speak Portuguese?

    The stories covered are the ones I think will be of general interest to the blog readers, the only limitation being my time spent in doing so. I don't cover stories about the school that had a leak in it's roof, or won a singing contest, or the drunk who fell over and hurt his head at the Cherry Festival, because I don't think people would be that interested. Occasionally I leave out something interesting because I have doubts about the accuracy of my translation, and not for any other reason.

    You are welcome to make comments about what you read on the blog, but when you make them about me in anonymity from some other country then you cannot really count yourself as a credible challenger.

    Anyway, I think it's time to wrap this one up, but to save those coming in late going through a load of waffle, here is a summary of our differing views:

    PSD Graxista – Poverty is OK, as it has always been like that, and that's why the people keep them in power = Good government

    Blog view – Poverty is not OK, and something must be done urgently to address the growing issue = Bad government.

    OK, let wrap that one up now please.

  13. Derek,
    Vis-a-vis Joao-Jardim and the Indian/Chinese matter, he is alleged to have stated that he didn't want the Indians and Chinese coming here and opening up corner shops and restaurants everywhere. This was reported, I believe, in one of the islands main newspapers. If true then clearly it was an unwise thing for a prominent politician to say.

    –Peter Leach


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