Cycle path confusion, Nepotism in the Health Service, Bye bye Albatroz, & other snippets

TODAY’S PHOTO : Thanks to Eiryl … just to remind us of what good weather looks like, after a fairly gloomy and chilly few days.

Technical problems with the Diário website made me visit the Jornal da Madeira website first yesterday … that was a waste of time! Luckily the Diário website recovered a bit later.

Front Page News : source : Diário de Notícias 5/2/2009

It’s back to Jardim da Serra again … perhaps it is the featured town this week. Anyway yesterday it was the turn of the local businesses to complain about falling trade, and  for the residents to express their concerns about the rising levels of robbery in both homes and commercial premises. The president of the Casa do Povo (House of the People, a sort of community centre) of Jardim da Serra, recounts that 13 of the 25 local businesses have been the target of crime, with drug users being the chief suspects. One local trader reports that business is down over 50%, and the local pharmacy states that many old people are not buying their medicines anymore due to lack of money.  

The construction of the new Funchal cycle path is causing traffic problems and confusion for drivers in the area of Ajuda, as well as affecting parking opportunities. The straight stretch near the Madeira Palácio Hotel is going to close, leaving the only viable diversion through the extension of the Rua dos Piornais. The first phase of works will take until May to complete, then there are two more phases, supposedly of shorter duration. Is it really going to be worth all the hassle? In my opinion, in line with the rest of the island, cycling is not suddenly going to become popular overnight, so is it going to be a lot of money spent and unnecessary disruption for nothing?

In what is a fairly topical subject now, the management of the health service here is accused of nepotism and favouritism in it’s handling of recruitment and matters of staffing. It’s the main headline : ‘Doubts in the hospital about favouritism’. There are elements of the leadership in the health service administration that are criticized for having allegedly used their status to benefit immediate family members. In particular there are placements in the hospital medical school, the appointment to the position of children’s clinical director, and also to a matron position, with a special mention for the family of a prominent leader of the PSD-M (social democrat party) who presumably were beneficiaries. Of course we all know how this works, and can understand the concept of ‘looking after ones own’, and normally the crime is only committed once one is caught and the case proved. It’s is just another demonstration of recruitment legislation having the worth of toilet paper, and those in charge cherry picking bits of the relevant European and Portuguese legislation only when it works for them.

The Centro Das Artes (Art Centre) reveals what it considers a strong and important programme of events for 2009, with theatre, jazz, and art all represented as top events. Lots of performers mentioned, but none are familiar to me, so I wouldn’t know where to start in telling you who are the star performers.

In football Sporting beat Porto, and Benfica won also in the semi finals of the league cup. That will take us to a Sporting v Benfica final … all the usual suspects!

Also, Nacional will be pleased to know that they have drawn Paços de Ferreira in the semi-finals of the Portugal Cup, with the 2 legs to be played on 4th march and 24th April.

Other News :

The racial bullying of a Chinese boy reported yesterday has been resolved, as he starts at a new private school. The power of the press wins again!

An appeal for potential donors, for a 6 month old baby needing a bone narrow transplant, brought in 250 potential donors for tests in just two days.

The sail boat ‘Albatroz’ which was built here in 1938, and is probably the most well known boat of it’s type here, has been sold to an English company. In 1950 and 1954 it was the winner of the race between Lisbon and Madeira, and in that latter race it set a record of 62 hours and 35 minutes, a record which stood until 2002.

The European Central Bank (ECB) has kept interest rates unchanged at 2%, but has left open the option of cutting rates at its next meeting in March.

Those with salaries and pensions can submit their annual tax returns for 2008 by internet between 10th March and 15th April. Paper submissions run from now until 16th March. No mention of the dates for submissions for those with income from other sources in the article or on the IRS website. Anyone know? Also if anyone knows the official exchange rate for the end of 2008 for British pounds to Euros, could they please post it or let me know. Thanks.

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7 thoughts on “Cycle path confusion, Nepotism in the Health Service, Bye bye Albatroz, & other snippets”

  1. Hi Der, just read the blog and you were saying about the chilly few days you have had. At the moment it is snowing and has been for the last three days with last night being the worst, we have over 12 inches of snow everything has come to a stand still with Bristol Airport closed. We live in the country side so have no gritters and won't be able to get the car out for the next few days because of freezing nights -10c tonight.
    We had 6 weeks in Madeira and came home the end of January and wish we were still there anything is better than this we think you are lucky how about doing a swap?
    –Dave and Pauline

  2. Hi Dave & Pauline, I guess it's all about what you are aclimatised to, and I am well familiar with the weather and how wet and cold it can get over your way. I think the one problem for me is that this is an exceptionally cold snap, and I have no heating to get through it. I wouldn't swop places with you, but I would give a king's ransom for your central heating system.

  3. I had seen that on the TV news Ellen, but I don't like to go into print until I see it in print. I am not sure Madeira is involved yet, as I just went to renew my residency and no mention of a super-duper card there.

    "Immigrants from countries of Portuguese language, denominated CPLP countries (Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Guinea, Cape Verde, São Tomé and Timor) will pay a fee of €25 for the card; where as immigrants from other countries will pay a total of €115.

    That's a bit of a stitch up, bordering on racism? Locals only pay €15, including ID card, so why €115 for Europeans?

  4. Hi Der,going back to CRs birthday,apparently he went to blow out his candles and fell over.
    Glad ur up & about again,funny that now ive nearly finished painting my house.

  5. careful Ginga, you could find the lynch mob waiting for you.

    I didn't realise you were painting your house … what size canvas are you using? I recommend doing some lanscapes next as you have some very nice views

  6. Hi Der, i took some dosh out my uk account on the 20th Dec, and got 1.07 to the pound, hope this helps.

    I saw on the front page of one of the papers today, that they are planning on building 5 hotels at Reis Magos, dont know anymore but if anyone saw it and understood it better, am i right?????


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