TODAY’S PHOTO : Thanks to Eiryl … children in traditional costumes partaking in a traditional dance.
Front Page News : source : Diário de Notícias 17/2/2009
Main headline : ‘Assembly pays for space that it doesn’t use”. This is about the temporary move of the regional assembly to the Madeira Tecnopólo, whilst refurbishments are done. They have hired the facility for 10 months, when the work will take a maximum of 6 months. The hire of the Tecnopólo is estimated to be around €100,000 a year, so the wastage would be over €30,000. Obviously these shrewd politicians know that nothing is ever completed on time here, especially when it comes to public buildings, so perhaps a good move that might knock a small hole in Bertie’s cigar budget.
Already mentioned yesterday, but Hugo Chavez has opened the door to a third term as president of Venezuela in the 2012 elections, by changing the constitution to remove the restriction that prevents the president standing for a third term. Emigrants living on Madeira “hope that it will be the last time” for Chavez.
‘Controversial building ready in 2010’ : A €15 million construction (the purpose of which was kept quiet for a long time) on the north quay of the port of Funchal is worrying some people who fear they will lose sea views from their properties, as well as spoil the area for those who frequent the area of Avenida Sá Carneiro. The building is the work of the Society of Metropolitan development, and the architect and ex-counsellor responsible for the project are saying that people shouldn’t worry as the building will improve the quality of the area, and the sea views will be better than before. The building is on two floors, and is “destined for trade and services”. Also, there will be around 500 parking spaces at a lower level, and above that (in front of the building) will be a public square and gardens of around 7,000 square metres. There will also be a bus station. There is much more detail in the article, but it is best to look at the model here: http://www.dnoticias.pt/diario/graficos/170209/01diario.pdf
(note : It is the building in the centre front of the picture).
Low prices for pork and import competition threaten Madeira’s production. The Madeira group Santagro says that without government support it may have to suspend pork production. A spokesman for the group said “We have been talking about this situation with the Government and I think it is possible to reach a platform of understanding, but there is no solution yet. Ideally the government will provide support for regional production, at least the same as applies to the imports.” Imports do receive assistance, making them between 40 and 50 cents a kilo cheaper to buy than pork produced here.
Other News :
There were 24 road accidents last weekend (10 in Funchal) with eight people injured, one of whom had to remain in hospital. A 2 year old boy was run over on Monday afternoon in Nazaré, after running out from between parked cars. He was detained in hospital with injuries considered to be serious.
Having already agreed an increase of 7% in unemployment benefit for Madeirans, through the legislative process here, the ruling Social Democrats have now come up with a proposal to reduce this to 2%, in line with the minimum wage increase.
The Porto Santo Ferry now has it’s Summer schedules on its website, with more crossings than ever before. As well as special schedules for events such as the carnival and rally, the Summer schedule (June to September) has 278 crossings scheduled, with 88 scheduled for August (44 returns).
There is a new website just launched for finding the cheapest petrol and diesel near to you, or on your journey. It’s at www.precoscombustiveis.dgge.pt/ and although it works well for mainland Portugal, when I looked up locations on Madeira there were no petrol stations shown. Worth bookmarking for the future perhaps?
Blog number 500 today … it doesn’t seem to have been going so long, but there you go.
With Funchal carnival starting in just two days, I would be grateful to receive a few photos so those of us not able to be there can sample a bit of the excitement – thanks!
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