TODAY’S PHOTO : Thanks to Eiryl … Downtown Funchal
Front Page News : source : Diário de Notícias 17/3/2009
It doesn’t need a genius to work out the main story of yesterday, but the headline was great ‘Derby Without Salt But With Pepper’, which sums up the match perfectly. Referring particularly to the 8 bookings and sending off. Another point that caused great interest was the injured referee who had to retire himself, to be replaced by a substitute referee from Madeira (I am not sure though where his football loyalties lay). I think it was the Marítimo player on the front page picture, that looked like he burst into tears on at least 3 occasions during the game.
The other main headline ’19 bankruptcies in 15 days’ is self explanatory, but this is not just about the financial crisis, as the Diário states that most of these cases of insolvencies involved fraud. The situation is grim for lenders and creditors, as 95% of cases triggered by the companies responsible are fraudulent, or are actioned by the owner(s) in question, more as a way of escaping the payment of debt than to rectify the situation and recover the business. Some of the business owners also flee Madeira with everything they can take with them, before the cases are heard in the courts.
Porto Santo Island is “full” of tourists and sports fans, as the Madeira Open Golf Tournament gets under way today. Apparently there are over 500 visitors. Quoting the Diário, they say this is the biggest event in the islands history. I am not sure I would agree, depending on the chosen translation of the word ‘maior’, … the biggest sporting event perhaps. Those days when the pirates arrived and ransacked Porto Santo, killed men, took slaves, and raped the women, must be pretty significant too … albeit for quite different unpleasant reasons.
A couple have been identified for trying to smuggle drugs into the prison at Cancela. In a technically sophisticated and complex plot, the couple were spotted at 3.30pm on Friday afternoon throwing a package over the fence. The dastardly plot went horribly wrong, when the package landed in an area of unused and practically inaccessible land. The union leader for prison staff said that the attempt was frustrated by the “good work” of the prison professionals, and also through the actions of three police officers who were on site. And the first of April is still 2 weeks away!
The famous ‘Golden Gate’ gets a story as it ceases it’s night club activities. Somehow I don’t imagine we get many nightclubbers reading this blog, so ’nuff said (sorry Trev of the word police).
The Judicial Police are investigating a case of expropriation, where there are suspicions of illegal land seizure and document falsifications. It concerns the ‘amicable’ expropriation of land in Canhas belonging to relatives of a former council member of the Câmara of Ponta do Sol, with the politician himself also allegedly involved. The land was required to build a new road behind the petrol station in Canhas, and was to cross half on the property of the politicians family, and half on the land of the neighbour. The story is a bit difficult to follow, but it seems that politician managed to get €10,000 from the deal, whilst the neighbour has not received anything, but ended up giving up the lion’s share of the land required. Urged by the Diário to comment, the accused said “I do not know. I am not aware of the issue. I do not want to comment”. Corruption amongst the good politicians of Ponta do Sol, whatever next!
It’s quite strange really that after 18 months of doing this blog, that a clear profile of the individual câmaras is building up. Ribeira Brava seems to be apathetic and inward looking, Calheta gives the image of incompetence, indifference, and unjustified affluence, Ponta do Sol might be remembered for hands in the wrong pockets, Porto Santo out of sight, out of mind, Funchal has it all, especially politics, corruption, and masses of money. Machico though probably gives me the most positive image of all the câmaras. Of course all these opinions (except one from personal experience) are influenced by the news reporting on Madeira … just in case any politicians want to sue me.
Other News :
The lucky people of Ponta do Sol had a visit from President Jardim on Monday, as he arrived to inaugurate a new public facility incorporating a garden, a playground, an 84 space car park, and two kiosks. The whole project cost €1.6 million. “I do not see anything in small European cities better than this,” stressed the President of the regional government, praising the “excellent understanding” of several factors involved in the construction of the garden. Rather oddly, the inauguration involved the closure of the road which gives access to the garden, which resulted in some confusion in traffic terms.
There were 26 road accidents at the weekend, with two serious injuries. 13 drivers were detained, 8 for drink driving, and the other 5 for driving without a licence.
The number of buildings completed in the final quarter of 2008 was 17% lower than in the same period of 2007.
It really must be 1st April come early, after that drug story, and this one. The social democrats of Madeira (PSD-M) are to do surveys to establish public opinion in certain areas of Madeira. The surveys will focus on areas identified four years ago, where opposition parties got better results than the PSD-M. You would almost think perhaps that democracy was arriving on Madeira, but the fact that the PSD-M has waited 4 years to find out such information just ooooozes of arrogance, indifference, and BS.
Curral das Freiras (Valley of the Nuns), that peaceful retreat where nothing much happens, must have had a bit of a shock when police raided and arrested 3 suspected drug dealers, various drugs, and an unregistered shotgun.
On TV yesterday the news that SATA, the Azores airline that serves Madeira has teamed up with Porto Bay Hotel Group to try and attract more tourists to Madeira. I couldn’t find any details on the SATA website, but I believe the cooperation is through some sort of loyalty card that promotes and discounts products between the two companies.
As we approach that time of year again, with long dry spells, the staggering statistic that Portugal has already had NINE HUNDRED forest fires reported so far this month, makes one hope that we here have a better year than recently. We still have our wettest month to come, but I think people here are well aware and generally careful, but there were so many cases of arson last year … but what can you do to stop these idiots!
This is the direct link for the blog about this blog’s future. I will keep this direct link on for a while, so you can click here and read, or respond if you can help or have any good ideas. I will be checking it for new responses daily : www.madeira4u.com/blog.html/3508
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