Corruption in CMF, Marítimo profitable, Immigrant benefit scroungers, & other snippets

TODAY’S PHOTO : Thanks to Tobi … The imposing statue of Cristo Rei at Garajau, taken just before sunrise.

Front Page News : source : Diário de Notícias 20/9/2008

The main story takes up nearly all the front page, and is another one of those corruption in politics affairs. A senior public figure (I can’t work out what position exactly) accuses the ex vice chairman of the town council of  Funchal of putting the council’s interests in jeopardy in a way that benefited his son’s company and the football club ‘União’. It seems that he used public funds to provide a new scoreboard for the football club, ordering it through a company owned by his son.

A large tree fell in Rua Padre Gonçalves da Câmara in Funchal on Friday night, during the bad weather. Two empty vehicles were damaged.

I know this is under debate nationally in the government of Portugal, so it was no surprise to see it raised here. The PSD party (Social Democrats, the ruling party on Madeira) is totally opposed on the matter of ‘same sex’ marriage. There is mixed opinion amongst the other parties, which is not really relevant with the PSD having so much majority power.

The football club Marítimo has a shareholders meeting at the end of this month, and it is expected that they will announce a profitable year, thanks mainly to player sales.

16 groups or organisations will receive financial support from the government, amounting in total to €813,000. The biggest beneficiary will be in Câmara de Lobos where a new library is to be built and equipped. Financed from the department responsible for culture, other beneficiaries will be the Museum of Sacred Art, and Campanário and Santa Luzia Churches. In all, twenty applications were made for the grants.

Other news :

Speaking at a conference on Friday about migration and development, President Jardim has lashed out again at the immigrants, saying “you are coming to live at the expense of the Social Security, and are not productive (to the economy)”. He is worried about the liberties allowed for free movement within Europe and the expense that will cause for Madeira. “This is all wrong” he said, accusing Europe of not having clear objectives.

What a idiot, and it’s debatable whether his view is a matter of racism.

1. So why join Europe?… not so you could fleece as much money from the taxpayers of Europe as possible?

2. Immigrants have real problems finding work here, because employers nearly always give preference to Madeiran’s (although that is not necessarily so true in the construction trade).

3. There are many many more Madeiran’ s who have left here to work in South Africa, South America and Europe, than there are living here. Of course they wouldn’t be drawing state benefits in those countries?

4. There of plenty of immigrants here who have used their own initiatives and finances to pay their way and start businesses, or have here come with pensions or are self financed. I know they don’t all pay tax as they should, but doesn’t that mean that is what you should be concentrating on, tax dodgers, rather than generalising and accusing decent people of being benefit scroungers just because they are foreigners.

5. There are many many Madeirans who already live off the welfare system here, in part or in full. The number of foreigners living here is a very small percentage.

In view of your dislike of foreigners, I have decided that I won’t be voting for you or your party in 2009 AJJ.

The top men in Câmara de Lobos (council) have had a bright idea. They are going to charge 30% more in council tax for empty and run down buildings in the area, that they feel give the town a negative image. It doesn’t say what the extra money will be spent on, but what seems like a good idea in principle will probably end up as bigger bills for those who can least afford them. A negative image in Câmara de Lobos, who would have thought that? As a visitor to that town, the one thing I wouldn’t be in a craning my neck to look out for is the decor.

The ‘Photographic Atlas the Madeira’ (‘Atlas Fotográfico da Madeira’) is just about to go on sale. A hefty tome weighing 4.5kg, it also has a hefty price tag at around €100. It describes itself as “an air photographic register of the Region since the beginning of the century XXI”. It cost €1.2 million to produce.

The fine people of Arco da Calheta are understandably concerned that one of those massive yellow cranes has been left abandoned in their village. It has been here untouched since a partner in a building project died 2 years ago, and everything ground to a halt. Locals fear the crane will collapse without maintenance, and that the arm will blow around in strong winds. “We already spoke several times with the partner of the company to remove the crane, and I think that that will be done soon”, guaranteed the president of the town council of Calheta, Manuel Baeta. Dear Sir, on a point of order, you cannot use ‘think’ and ‘guarantee’ in the same sentence when talking in this context.

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6 thoughts on “Corruption in CMF, Marítimo profitable, Immigrant benefit scroungers, & other snippets”

  1. I don;t see any complaints about the amount of money that joining the EU has created for Madeira, which in turn has led to huge development of many areas (not all to the good in my opinion). If you join the EU take the rough with smooth – immigrants are a sure bet when any country becomes part of the EU and in many ways, they can be of benefit to a country rather than a hinderance. As much as I love Madeira, I do find the attitude of many of the portuguese inhabitants extremely insular – many of them have no real idea what happens in the "real world" and seem to live 50 years behind the times. Since joining the EU many more maderians are hopping on the benefits instead of working bandwagon and if it wasn't for some of the migrants taking the poorer paid jobs then the island would be in a sticky situation.

  2. Surely the attraction of Madeira to immigrants is the fact that it is 50 years behind.
    We all wish, I am sure, the country we live in now was 50 years behind.
    The values of people were simpler and perhaps more honourable.Less spin and more honesty in everyday life.
    Bert Garden is a simple polititian who seems to appeal to the less wordly, that's why he is still there in office. Perhaps, like Mugabe, he will only go when he is carried out in his coffin.He doesn't mind money from outside the EC coming to the island , like the Russians investing as reported earlier. Surely this points to him being non-racist!


  3. ah well of course the Russian's won't be claiming on the social security, so that's OK then. But I agree, what he is saying is probably not racist, in fact as long as you bring and spend loads of money here you are very welcome, so perhaps it is 'poorism' or 'unemployedism' or 'meanspiritedism' we are facing.

    Most of the jobs are low paid (near or on minimum wage), and it's not that the locals won't take them, there are just not enough jobs for the available workforce, let alone immigrants.

  4. Karen, this was the situation in 2004, it may have changed. "The car must be registered within 30 days of arrival on the island, and the importation process must be complete within 180 days, on the risk of impoundment for tax evasion."

    AFPOP have a bulletin on this on their website if you are a member. More on the main madeira4u wesite also, under driving in Resources & Information


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