Olympic gold, Funchal 5000, Busman's holiday, Bad debt, and other snippets

TODAY’S PHOTO : Thanks to Helen … Funchal 500 celebrations, Portugal Air Force ‘fly by’.

Front Page News : source : Diário de Notícias 22/8/2008

Even the Funchal 500 news was overshadowed by the Olympic news in the athletics, in the Men’s Triple Jump, where Nelson Évora won Portugal’s first gold medal. That’s a gold and a silver now, by Portuguese standards one of each colour would make 2008 a pretty reasonable result. On the national news on TVI that night, the excitement was such that the first 15 minutes were devoted just to that one story.

The companies of Madeira have so far withstood the effect of the recession here pretty well, with the numbers remaining stable, and with new companies replacing those that fail. The situation is quite different in Portugal generally though, with thousands of companies dissolved. However, the growth of Madeira’s companies has slowed right down, with few new opportunities of employment.

President Jardim generously interrupted his Port Santo holiday to attend the Funchal 500 celebrations. In the spirit of the occasion, he took the opportunity to mention “the hypocrisy, the colonial authoritarianism and the political-partisan mediocrity” that deny rights to the Madeiran people, in an allusion to the central State. I am pretty confident in the translation, but not so clear in the meaning. Anyone care to analyse that comment?

Talking of Funchal 500, as I was unable to go as I am sure were many others, would love to know your views of the highlights or whatever. There are reports in the newspaper, but your views would be first hand and more interesting. We have already heard from Tobi who was disappointed with the ‘size’ and lateness of the air display (I did mention it Tobi, on the blog of 19th July), and thought the fireworks were just OK. And Andrew who found the Historical Procession that night disappointing. Anyone have anything enthusiastic to say?

Other news :

I suppose it comes as no great surprise, this being Madeira and all that, but the bus company ‘Rodoeste’ that serves the whole west and most of the north of the island out to Porto Moniz, Calheta and beyond, took a public holiday for Funchal 500. For sure some of the drivers live in Funchal, but many more don’t. Anyway, they decided to run a public holiday service, and didn’t put out notices or warn the public, leaving many people normally working and travelling stranded. One lady said she went to catch the 12.40 bus, waited until 15.30, and then just gave up and went home still not knowing what was going on. Others missed doctor’s appointments and whatever. Disgraceful behaviour!

Believe it or not, but the Diário has a correspondent in South Africa, who was complaining about the fact the Madeirans over there knew nothing about the Funchal 500 celebrations, and were therefore unable to celebrate the event. Hmm, now Sir you can imagine what it is like being a foreigner living on Madeira … probably something like it is for a Madeiran living abroad.

In what I think is a national story, and according to figures from the Bank of Portugal, bad credit or “credit of doubtful collection” increased 20.6 percent from June 2007 to June 2008, reaching the highest levels ever. Pretty staggering and obviously unsustainable … I don’t think I will be bothering to ask for a bank loan in the foreseeable future, nor investing in Portuguese banks.

That’s it for today … have a good weekend (the temperatures have dropped a bit now, so that should help).


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 blog@madeira4u.com – anyone can join in! Thank you!

3 thoughts on “Olympic gold, Funchal 5000, Busman's holiday, Bad debt, and other snippets”

  1. Went into Funchal for the celebrations on Thursday – surprised that Tobi didn't know the programme, it was printed in The Brit, Diario and lots of booklets about. There were two air displays – 1 at 4.00 but only 3 aircraft in what seemed like a flypast. The main display was at 5.30 and was very good. Funchal was heaving and the atmosphere was brill. Following the airdisplay there were parachutists and then the classic car parade. We enjoyed it very much.
    Regarding the lady whose little boy died, surely everyone who reads and contributes to this blog could send €10 euros, I'm sure we can go without something even if money is tight, her need is greater than ours – just a thought.

  2. I did see 2 planes and a helicopter fly past at 4 , but thats exactly what they did. Fly Past.
    I was watching the Air Display from Garajau, and i know all the locals who saw it from there were very disappointed, and it was announced on the radio the time will be 4.30 so alot of people had left.

    I guess i should have been in funchal to see all the parachutists…


Leave a comment

Translate »