Fireworks not so good this year, Rubbish debts, Price rises for 2009, and other snippets

TODAY’S PHOTO : Thanks to Alan … This was sent to me at 1am on new years morning 2009. Another shot of the famous Madeira new year firework display of course.

Front Page News : source Diário de Notícias 2/1/2009

Some Madeirans thought the new year firework display in Funchal was a bit weak this year …  ‘little light and fire’ and lacking a final punch. A couple of the Diário photos are absolutely fantastic, reminding me of the start of a Walt Disney film but better, and in real life of course. 6 launching firework ‘posts’ in the sea were removed from the entertainment owing to rough sea conditions.

President Jardim didn’t take long into the new year to get the main headline, making some comments as soon as the new year firework display was finished. Most of what he said was about the future of the social democrat party president (national) and his plans for the elections in 2009.

In what the Diário calls the first bad news of the year, the councils of Madeira (Câmaras) are being pressured to pay off their debts to the rubbish handling facility at Meia Serra which is living of loans at present. It wasn’t that clear to me, but it sounds like between the regional government and the câmaras that almost €100 million is owed.

The only other two front page stories were about Marítimo football club not intending to sell any players, and the new year day orchestra performance in the Centro de Congressos.

Other News :

20 people were taken to hospital with excess alcohol consumption during the new year celebrations, 17 of those happened after midnight. Apart from that the emergency services had a fairly peaceful night, with just one call for the fire brigade who were ready in numbers during the firework display.

December  was a bad month on the via rápida, with 130 car accidents, 55 above the normal monthly average, and bringing the total for 2008 to 896. December’s bad weather is blamed, or rather, inappropriate driving in poor conditions. The police report that their radars caught drivers travelling at 160, 170, 190, and 200 kilometres per hour. 7 people were seriously injured, the worst month of 2008, and 19 other people were injured, the second worst month. Apart from the number of seriously injured (9 in 2007, 30 in 2008) all the other statistics were pretty much the same as the previous year.

This weekend’s football fixtures: Sunday 4pm v Marítimo v Paços de Ferreira, and the big game is Nacional v Porto at 6.30pm (SportTV1) for which I have a ticket. It will be my first ever visit to ‘The Choupana’, and I am told it will be a bit chilly up there. Nacional beat Porto home and away last season, the only team to do so, even so I am not optimistic about another shock result.

The government of Venezuela has introduced a new law in response to the financial crisis, by limiting the expenditure (travel costs) of people travelling out of the country to under €1,800 a year. The measure will affect hundreds of thousands of Portuguese people, including many Madeirans.

Not wishing to spoil anyone’s new year celebrations, I kept this back from Tuesday’s newspaper, being the ups and downs of prices already known for 2009:

Domestic electricity +5.4%

Vehicle tax +2.5%

House rentals +2.8% or more for long term

Medical consultations +10%

Bread +5% at least

Tobacco +1.4%

CaboTV / Zon +2.5% (basic package)

Postage stamps +3.2% (small letter)

Water (Funchal) +4%

Buses (Funchal) +3.3% average

Old age pensions +2.9% or less

Minimum wage +5.6%

I did say ‘downs’ as well, but it seems that only beef is expected to go down in price slightly, but pork will go the other way.


It’s confirmed about the break out of ‘Dourada’ fish from the offshore farm at Campanário, the second time in 8 months, but this time the fish are much bigger and must be worth a fortune. There are loads of fishermen on the beach this morning, and I was talking to a man from Tabua last night who wanted to go home early so he could make an early start on the fish jackpot today. He said that he had already been and caught loads of fish (demonstrating the size with his hands as he did so). I think the farm is privately owned, and the owner must be another one of King Canute’s cousins, thinking he can tame the wild Atlantic ocean. Anyway they will be heading west by now, so those in O Sol, Madelena, Calheta etc. get yer fishing gear dusted off ready … as it’s not often in life you get a truly free lunch.

Have a good weekend!

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7 thoughts on “Fireworks not so good this year, Rubbish debts, Price rises for 2009, and other snippets”

  1. Well im glad im not the only one who thought the fireworks were poor this year, i think the lack of cruise ships , and the smaller boats not being able to go out due to the rough seas also added to a rather empty looking bay.

  2. Hi, can anyone tell me what the loud explosions noises are in Funchal? Its all different times and sometimes in the early hours of the morning like 1 and 2 am. Sounds like bomb/rock blasts?

  3. I have a special request. Any blog readers here do cake icing? I am looking for a special cake to be made (sponge is ok or fruit). Need it for mid-Feb. If anyone can help me can you please leave a message on the blog, thanks

  4. I can make a cake, that's not a problem, but I am looking for someone who is good at icing and thought it might be better if the same person could make the cake and ice it. Its for a birthday and ideally I would like Royal icing or something with a decoration (flowers)

  5. Hi sarah , i know a friend of mine who makes all the cakes at Quinta splendida, including wedding and birthday , and makes all the flowers to decorate it , i can put you in touch with him if you want?


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