TODAY’S PHOTO : Many thanks to Josie … Friday’s children’s carnival parade in Funchal, which Josie took and had to me by midday the same day!
Front Page News : source : Diário de Notícias 21/2/2009
Main Headline : ‘Finanças terrorize those who legalise what is theirs’. “To receive a letter from Finanças is a moment of terror”. This story is about some citizens in Caniçal that decided to legalise the ownership of some small plots of land with buildings that they had owned for decades, not knowing that they were going to get stung with huge tax demands in stamp duty. The fuss is about people on low incomes, pensions of €300 per month, being billed €3,000 or in some cases much more. Hurts I know, but we all get stung with that whether we are rich or poor, but perhaps waiting 40 years to formalise the ownership is not the best way to avoid taxation when property values tend to rise.
A fire has burnt out a restaurant in the Marina Shopping Centre in Funchal. A electrical problem started the blaze early yesterday morning on the ground floor, but nobody was hurt.
The chief coach at Marítimo says the club will not be investing to ensure a place in Europe this season. The club cannot compete with the superior budgets of others.
Skipping the politics story about the leadership problems in the socialist party (a temporary leader has been appointed to stand until July), the other story is about some final year students wanting to go on the Easter holiday to the Canary Islands by plane, but something was causing problems and they were having to go by boat instead, but I was pushed for time. This is a Portuguese tradition from what I understand though, with final year students who can afford it going off abroad together before their final term.
Front Page News : source : Diário de Notícias 22/2/2009
The carnival parade is of course the main story, with nearly everyone delighted with the razmataz. Thousands of people turned up as always to see the seven troupes perform to the theme of ‘astronomy’, along with President Bertie, who also danced alongside some of the the participants (anyone get a photo of that?). The Diário has some nice photos, but nothing like our blog readers contributions. Take a look here if you haven’t already :
It seems that Porto da cruz, population 2,793, is the featured location this week, “Lacks so much” is the headline. It has an elderly population who want a decent supermarket and a chapel for the cemetery, and there is nothing to occupy the young people in terms of leisure, who want a cinema, sports facilities, and bars to use at night. A mother of three says the village lacks a health centre and nursery. That’s pretty much it … that’s all the article says, so it’s not going to be an action packed week in Porto da Cruz by the sound of things.
Last year the Madeiran homeowners with mortgages owed on average €70,000 to a bank, and the borrowing for homes for the whole island amounted to 2,471 million Euros (there is no continental Portuguese word for ‘billions’). The article illustrates how the demand for home-loans has fallen, in Portugal as well as Madeira. Likewise bad debt is on the rise, with the Bank of Portugal reporting a 32% rise over a year. Funny how continental Portuguese has no word for ‘billion’, yet there is a word for ‘billionaire’ according to the coverage of the Oscar award ceremony!
Other News :
The first day back in the legislative assembly of Madeira next month will be a busy one, with 40 matters of business for discussion … the last one caught my eye … presented by the New Democratic Party … the construction of a 50 metre statue of ‘Jardim’. This is one time when my translation skills must have gone to pieces I thought, but I tried an electronic translator and got the same result. If it is true, the sheer fact that it is tabled by the PND (Rabbit’s party) must mean that it is another one of their political stunts.
One article covers the comment from a trade union official that the restaurant trade is not doing very well so far in 2009, but when you read a later story, about one restaurant that has been robbed six times in less than two months, it puts a different perspective on the matter. The restaurant ‘Jardim da Carreira’ (it looks like it is Funchal from the photo) had €200 in cash and €150 in spirits taken this time, but in the last two months the owner estimates the total loss to be around €5,000, including the damage caused during the break-ins.
There were quite a few articles on carnival activities, particularly the various children’s parades that took place on Friday, and an interesting admission from the chief of police that Saturday night his officers were going to be more tolerant with driving and parking matters for those going into Funchal.
In football, both out teams lost yesterday. Marítimo lost 3 – 1 at Academica, and Nacional 1 – 0 at Amadora.
I had an unsolicited lesson in Fado appreciation on Friday night, and whilst I can think of better ways to spend my weekend, it was actually quite interesting. According to the man who was controlling the music in a local restaurant, there are two types of fado : ‘Coimbra’ and ‘Lisbon’, and he was ‘kind enough’ to play me several tracks of both types. I wasn’t wild about either, but with a gun to my head I would have picked ‘Lisbon’ as being slightly more bearable. Apparently there is no such thing as Madeiran fado, although for sure I have seen fadistas performing here several times so it must have been the other types.
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