Madeira walking festival 2009, Bilingual Police?, Cops on bikes, Ageing population, etc.

TODAY’S PHOTO : Thanks to Pirex … Ponta de São Lorenço

Front Page News : source : Diário de Notícias 27/8/2008

The Madeira Walking Festival is to held again, with the financial support of the Regional Directorate of Tourism to nearly €7,000. The events will take place between the 13th and 17th January on both Madeira and Porto Santo. The timetable, details of walks, and prices are here :

http://madeirawalkingfestival.bookingmadeira.com/timetable.asp

As most the walks are priced at €24 … seems more like a commercial venture to me, especially as it seems to marketed as a event to unite and treat walkers. OK, transport needs to be paid for of course, but for that price I would want a 3 course meal and hot bath thrown in at the end.

The 27th Madeira Canoeing Contest started on Tuesday, with around 50 Portuguese and foreign canoeists taking part.

President Jardim makes it back onto the front page after a few days of absence, but at a quick glance it seems to be just a political squabble with all the usual hot air.

Other news :

The Union / Association of  Professional Police  starts 6 new courses in September, amongst them French and English language. The aim is to increase the number of multilingual police officers to enable a dialogue with foreign citizens, be able to give simple information in the street, read someone his rights and make someone a suspect. 

Sometime after it was first reported, the initiative to provide police on bicycles has finally got the go-ahead.  From next week, 10 officers on Madeira and Porto Santo will slide on their bicycle clips and mount up to patrol the beach and tourists zones (just Funchal on Madeira).  They will be equipped as normal police with gun, tear gas, and handcuffs , but wear shorts and a cycling helmet. Already I have horrendous visions of that dreadful American series ‘Asas nos Pés’ that seems to dominate the AXN channel, where bicycle police whiz around after criminals performing daredevil stunts. The handcuffs should come in handy for stopping people pinching the bicycles when parked up. Please send me a photo if you see one.

Madeira’s population is ageing, but little is being done to improve the quality of life of the elders, or to encourage families to have more children. The expense of having children is a big turn-off these days, with parents thinking twice about the costs involved. In particular the days where parents could leave children with grandparents of relatives whilst mum and dad go off to work are disappearing, and the cost of professional child care is just impossible to manage. Some statistics:

By 2035 25% of Portuguese people will be over 65 years old (17.4% today), and by 2060 that will rise to 31%.

On Madeira as a whole there are 73 over 65’s to every 100 children (aged up to 14), that ratio was 63 to 100 in 1996, whilst in Porto Moniz the ratio is 161 / 100, and in Santana 162 / 100. Câmara de Lobos has the best ratio at 38 / 100. I think that’s what they call a demographic time bomb, and also thinking that through I am pretty glad I will not be around to see it.

News source AFPOP (Association of Foreign Property Owners in Portugal) bulletin, August 2008.

Firstly just to clarify the situation with vehicle testing (MOTs). The extension of the period that you can take your vehicle to be inspected was extended to 3 months, but the very last day you can take your car for inspection is the actual anniversary date of the original registration date. So if your car was first registered (as new) on 28th August, then you have from 1st May until 28th August to have the inspection done.

Secondly, to clarify the position with the meter rental charges for example with gas, water, and electricity utilities. These were outlawed from 1st July this year, as were charges for inspection and minimum consumption. If you look at your bills now, there should be no mention of the word ‘aluguer’. However, there are two exceptions. 1. Your electricity bill will continue to have a monthly charge for ‘Contribuição áudio-visual’, and 2. water bills can have a charge called ‘Tarifa de Disponibilidade’, which replaces the old meter hire charge and covers your council making your water available to you and for maintenance. So it seems whilst private utilities were stuck with the new law, public ones managed to find a loophole.

Finally, good news perhaps for anyone renewing their residence permits: You can actually phone up and make an appointment now rather that wait for ages in a non existent queueing system. Phone 808 202 653 from a land-line, or 808 962 690 from a mobile phone, and choose option 1, and then option 2. Help is then available in 7 languages. You can also email to sef@sef.pt. Non-EU nationals can also use the website www.sef.pt to make an appointment, but as the website is pretty useless it’s probably not a good option.

I have now let my membership lapse as a member of AFPOP member after around 4 years of membership, as I find it just doesn’t cover anything for Madeira at all, probably not helped by the fact there is no representative here. Add to that the out-of-date bulletins on the website, and the poor responses to questions I have submitted, for me for now it has run it’s course. However its bulletins did have some useful information, and if any other members see any useful articles in the future with information I haven’t yet included in the blog, perhaps they could let me know.

www.madeira4u.com

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8 thoughts on “Madeira walking festival 2009, Bilingual Police?, Cops on bikes, Ageing population, etc.”

  1. Shocked at the prices for the walks, and why they have this in January, when it is considered very dangerous to do levadas they are only asking for trouble.

    –Tobi

    Reply
  2. The article mentions the safety issue, and something about the risks to the walkers. I think maybe because it is not an event organised by Madeira (it's organised by an English guy) the guides / leaders they are using perhaps don't have the required qualification, but it was a bit tricky to understand. If someone knows the true facts please post them here as I don't want to give people the wrong impression.

    Reply
  3. When we first came to Madeira we became members of AFPOP but quickly realised that it was not very relevant to Madeira and the Portugese office were not very interested in Madeira. More info and all requirements are available either at the British Consulate or Loja de Cididade and we have found the local officers more informative. There was little or no info available unless you had a computer and then much of it related to mainland and not Madeira.
    –Josie

    Reply
  4. Regarding the cost of raising children in Madeira i have no idea how they manage as even the clothes are priced at ridiculous prices let alone things like nappies…
    –Pirex

    Reply
  5. Please will someone enlighten me as to what Loja de Cididade is? Does it equate to Britain's Citizens' Advice Bureaux? Is it a government body or an independent entity? Sheila
    –Sheila
    <mailto:sheila.toney@yahoo.co.uk>

    Reply
  6. The Loja Do Cidadão, Avenue Arriaga, n.º42-A, 9000-064 Funchal. Handy for all your essentials, like taxation, finance, residency, starting a business etc. but the few times I have been there it has been packed and the queues can be horrendous. Nice idea in theory though.
    –Der

    Reply

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