TODAY’S PHOTO : Thanks to Eiryl … a rather cute looking street dog, or is he one of those lucky ones with a home to go to at night?
Front Page News : source : Diário de Notícias 11/2/2009
Main story : The football club Nacional owes €340,000 in unpaid social security contributions, including €45,000 in late payment interest charges. However, the regional government passed a resolution last month exempting the club from making the obligatory bank guarantees. So that is what regional autonomy is all about, though I can’t see why they should be treated any differently from any other business when it comes to tax liabilities, especially when President Bertie is a Marítimo supporter.
The main photo today shows a group of firemen and women saluting men in golden helmets, looking something more like a military parade from North Korea, rather than a scene outside the fire station in Ribeira Brava. The 20+ new recruits were being ‘sworn in’ as firefighters without having completed their basic training, including basic first aid in some cases. The Diário talks of some suspicion of dodgy practice in holding the swearing in before training has been completed, implying that could be explained by the fact that one of the firefighters is the son of the regional commander, and that normal rules don’t apply. The commander denies this, saying “This is all lies”, arguing that everything was done in absolute transparency and with due knowledge of the Regional Service of Civil Protection and Firemen of Madeira.
Two men and a woman from Câmara do Lobos have been nicked by police, in connection with a number of thefts and burglaries in the area of Jardim da Serra. €2,200 in cash, and an amount of gold jewellery have been recovered. One of the three is 70 years old. He was caught trying to make a getaway on a motorised zimmer frame … sorry I made that last bit up!
The former chief of the office of the Regional Secretary of the Environment and Natural Resources (SRARN) was ordered by a court to pay a fine of €1,455 euros as punishment for misuse of public funds whilst in office.
The organisers of the festa in São Vicente have pulled off another dutch star act for its celebrations in August. In 2007 the Vengaboys performed, but this year (28th August) Hermes House Band have been recruited. Remixes of ‘Never Give In’, ‘Football’s Coming Home’, ‘I will Survive’, and ‘Come on Eileen’ have given the band international success since 1994. I don’t really understand what ‘House’ music is all about, although it does sound like a bit of a racket. São Vicente, being mainly agricultural, as I type this I am visualising hundreds of ageing farmers with their woolly hats and mini-scythes doing some sort of contorted dance to the music of HHB. I must learn to control my imagination!
Other News :
Apparently Madeiran’s are very diligent when it comes to paying fines dished out by the police for motoring offences, in the spirit of ‘it’s a fair cop guv’. The statement from the police commissioner comes after something was posted on the internet urging drivers not to pay their fines on time. I am not sure I would describe the behaviour of drivers as diligent, more likely motivated, but when you are fined on the spot, with a mobile credit / debit card machine presented to you there and then, you don’t feel you have much option. Besides, an unsuccessful challenge can lead to the fine being increased.
Around 60 companies on Madeira are presently considered to be in financial difficulties, and having to reduce staff, face closure, or are in arrears with staff salaries. Most of the companies are in the construction and tourism sectors.
The council of Ribeira Brava is under fire for road works on the street at the front of town. The work is necessary, according to the câmara president, to correct damage done when the promenade area was reconstructed (in 2004), plus to make improvements to drainage. The leveling and resurfacing of the stone surface will take until the end of March, in the meantime causing more suffering to traders already in hard times. Particularly hard hit are the two cafes with tables across the other side of the (now fenced off) street. As usual, it seems that most people had no idea this was going to happen, let alone have any opportunity to comment on the matter. The surface was very uneven I must admit, but not so bad that it was worth closing the road for. Besides that, the surface kept vehicles at a slow and safe pace, a sort of natural traffic speed control system.
The article about the featured ‘village of the week’, Jardim do Mar, is all about the surfing there. The surfing community practically deserted the location when the new promenade was built, but people are slowly coming back. Apparently surfing now is best done at low tide, otherwise it is dangerous. The article features a business there which tries to attract surfers through a web-cam showing the waves, but the site wasn’t working when I checked yesterday at www.beachcam.pt.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored the only goal through a penalty last night, to beat Finland 1 – 0 in a friendly game.
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