TODAY’S PHOTO : Thanks to Jonathan … an Easyjet flight
Front Page News : source Diário de Notícias 28/12/2008
The main headline today is “Women more penalised by the low pensions”. Referring to old age retirement pensions where women have stayed at home to raise families, or have had little opportunity to go to work outside of the home in a ‘macho’ world, as it was then. Maria is 71 years old, and receives a pension of just €93 (I assume that is a month) whilst her husband receives €300. She worked at home doing embroidery work to help support the family, as well as working their land to put food on the table. There are many other women in the same situation, and 40,000 people receive pensions below the minimum wage. I guess that things are changing now with younger generations of women able to go out work, but you have to feel sorry for people on such low pensions, but they were victims of an old culture rather than a gender biased benefits system. Nether-the-less the state should do more to help, but I am not clear whether the social security system here can help poor people in retirement.
2009 is set to be a good year for those in permanent employment, with the possibility of having 150 days off of work due to the way the public holidays fall. Five of the 17 public holidays fall on weekends. Another five fall on Tuesdays and Thursdays, giving the possibilities for ‘bridge days’ which join the public holiday to the weekend, but normally depend on the generosity of the boss. Anyway it is a long and detailed analysis, but add together 104 weekend days, 25 days annual leave, 12 public holidays, and another 9 they come up with (4 of which I an not clear on) then with a lot of luck and a kind boss, then you have the magic 150. It was a really pointless article really as the headline reads “Half of 2009 is going to be to relax”, but according to my maths that would need 183 days off! Add to that the fact that this year the ‘days off’ would have come to 154, so a reduction is not much cause for joy really. If you want the dates of the 17 public holidays you can find them here, or if you can’t access the chart here email me and I will send them to you.
Another article about the ‘São Silvestre’ race last night that was due to have over 1,000 participants. Naming some of the athletes that took part. Two athletes that conquered medals in the Olympic Games in Beijing – the Kenyan Richard Mattelong, ‘bronze’ in the 3,000 meters obstacles and Eunice Jepkorir, ‘silver’ in the same distance, and other European and world champions ‘of quality’.
Finally, another article about the weather and the damage caused by the winds and heavy rain. Various rockfalls have blocked roads and disrupted traffic around Funchal, where council workers and firemen have had a busy few days, and damage has been caused to several buildings. In São António the force of the water was so strong in the drains that a steel drain cover was lifted off the road which then resulted in an accident.
Other News :
According to a dentist specialising in dental implants Portugal has one of the worse dental care records, where the numbers of toothless people ‘is frightening’. Three out of 4 people over the age of 65 have missing teeth, and there are many with no teeth at all. No great surprise really, as there are many poor people who never see a dentist in their lives, due to the high relative cost of treatment compared to earnings, and the fact that dentistry is outside of the state health system. Talking to a man in town a couple of weeks ago, he wiggled one of his front teeth to show me one just about hanging on. I asked if he was going to the dentist and he said no, because it was too expensive. How can one eat with that thing flicking up and down with every chew … beats me!
Lots of political stories still, despite the Christmas break in the regional assembly, but all chewing over old stories.
I got it wrong about the official sales dates, they started yesterday and run to the end of February. Anything called ‘Saldos’ (sales) is governed by law and can only take place within the permitted dates in Winter and Summer, but a shop owner can call it ‘promoções’, ‘discontos’ etc. at any time of year.
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