TODAY’S PHOTO : Thanks to Sarah … a show in the municipal gardens of Funchal on carnival Friday
Front Page News : source : Diário de Notícias 23/2/2009
Main headline : ‘Calote Italiano’ which can translate to swindle or bad debt, depending how you want it to. This follows on from last weeks story that the Italian tour operator has restarted it’s charter flights and holidays on Porto Santo Island, albeit for now just until next month. It seems the company has a million €uro debt with hotels, local services, and suppliers. That situation is understandably generating a little apprehension with local businesses. The biggest debts are over €100,000, and include the Hotel Vila Baleira.
Most of yesterday’s front page was taken up with a photo from the Marítimo game on Sunday, announcing that as a result of the two losses for our local teams, Sporting Braga had sneaked above them into 5th place in the league.
The social democrat party of Madeira (PS-M) has said it has uncovered more cases of corruption in the public sector, which it will be taking to the authorities. Letters have been received, highlighting corruption cases, from members of the public. The president of PS-M says that a change in administration is needed to combat such cases, saying that the public will no longer accept behaviour from the time of Salazar (the dictator from more than 30 years ago), when stealing from the state was the norm rather than a crime.
More on the carnival parade on Saturday of course, again with another mention that President Jardim joined in dancing with a troupe(s), but again with no picture.
Another article is about the neighbourhood of Romeiro overlooking Funchal. It talks about alcohol abuse, drugs, social problems, poor maintenance and services, adolescent pregnancy, all the usual stuff that the Diário has been highlighting recently. It looks like the newspaper has taken on the role of bringing these matters to public attention on a near daily basis, and whether this a political motivation in a year of elections, your guess is as good as mine.
Around 27 thousand Madeirans (16%) have benefited from training and education initiatives, supported by European social funding, during 2008. The beneficiaries are aged between 15 and 64, have already consumed over €43 million in funding under the programme for lifelong learning. Some of the funding is aimed at the fight against failure and early exits from schools, by diversifying and increasing the number of vocational options for young people. Altogether the EU has €125 million allocated for approved projects in education and training.
Other News :
There is video footage of one of the carnival floats from Saturday causing a scare when it started to run away backwards downhill. It eventually regained control, and thanks to a number of the crowd intervening to push the vehicle, it managed to complete it’s journey.
The restaurant fire, early Saturday morning in the ‘Marina Shopping’ centre in Funchal, has revealed some weaknesses in the safety procedures for the building. Although the fire was quickly controlled and extinguished, instead of venting out as it should, the smoke went to apartments above the mall, and forced the evacuation of residents. Add to that that the smoke detector didn’t work, nor the fire alarm, then it is a miracle that there were no casualties.
Remember some months ago a report that a new Madeiran based airline was being formed, called ‘Madjet’? Well that has now moved on a stage with the arrival of it’s first aircraft, a brand new executive jet ‘Hawker 900XP’, last Friday. The Calheta based company is expecting it’s next aircraft, a Beechcraft King Air 350i, to arrive next year.
Aah … nice sunny public holiday, just what the doctor ordered. Someone brought me a huge bag of lovely looking bananas this morning, enough to last me three months if that was possible. If anyone wants some, come and collect, otherwise they will end up rotting.
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