PSD-M accounts, Abandoned cars, Madeira – Paris restarts, & other snippets

TODAY’S PHOTO : Thanks to Eiryl … The miradouro near Encumeada.

Front Page News : source : Diário de Notícias 11/3/2009

The main story is about discrepancies in the political party accounts for 2005, YES 2005! The accounts have been audited for each party, and 8 of 10 discrepancies (irregularities and illigalities) of the social democrats of Portugal fall into the lap of the social democrats of Madeira, aka the PSD-M of Uncle Bertie. Amongst other ‘offences’ listed, the PSD-M has misrepresented the value of it’s assets, overstating of costs,

and one particular discrepancy highlighted was the inclusion of a receipt for €3 to justify an item of expenditure of €62 thousand. I bet that is a huge embarrassment to the PSD nationally, and in this election year you can bet that the opposition parties here will jump on this at every opportunity. However, it would only be fair to point out that other political parties also had problems in their accounts, and overall the PSD was not the worst in terms of numbers of discrepancies.

’44 cars abandoned each month’ – Scrap Yards created last year are doing little to encourage people to dispose of their old cars sensibly. With 7 licensed scrap yards in existence or in the process of legalising their operations, people would still rather leave their unwanted old bangers in the street than take them to be disposed of legally. In order to cancel tax liabilities, it is necessary to obtain a certificate of scrapping from one of the legitimate scrap yards. This certificate, within qualifying conditions, also allows people to buy a new low emission car with an incentive discount of either €1,000 or €1,250, depending on the age of the car scrapped.

Attempts by the regional government to borrow €50 million have been spotted by the Ministry of Finances of the republic, who are asking for justification of the loan. The money is required to support co-funded community programs, but the request won’t be given to the EU in Brussels unless satisfactory answers are given by our politicians for all the elements of the funding request.

Charities (Misericórdias) are having increasing difficulties in managing the growing number of requests for help. The president of the union of these charities says the requests are not just coming from the poor during these times of economic crisis. 400 representatives of these charities from all over Portugal are to meet at a national congress in Funchal in June. I wonder how much all that is going to cost!

One small corner of the front page was reserved for the huge embarrassment for Sporting (of Lisbon), who lost 7 – 1 in the champions league to Bayern Munich, 12 – 1 in aggregate. I haven’t checked, but that can’t be far off a record thrashing over two legs?

Other News :

There are some tips listed on how to ensure you get your tax rebate paid in May, but it’s all double-dutch to me.

A bust in bronze of a teacher, Lucinda Andrade, created by Susana São Marcos, has been placed near the front of the primary and secondary schools named after her, in São Vicente. She died 9 years ago, but has the distinction of being the first woman driver in that district.  I just thought I would do something different for a change, but I won’t make a habit of it!

If you receive an email with the senders address

????@portugaltelecom.pt beware, as the attachment contains a nasty computer virus. The email refers to outstanding payments on your PT account. The police are on the case.

The route by air between Madeira and the south of Paris is to restart on 13th April, operated by Transavia. The service will recommence with two flights weekly, after the route was abandoned during the Winter without explanation. It is possible to book now for flights until August, on the company website, with headline rates of €56 one way, though the total price with surcharges etc. is over €180 return.

Conceição Estudante, Regional Secretary for Tourism on Madeira, is leading a delegation to Miami for the main global promotional event for cruise companies, to be held 16th – 19th March. Let’s hope the team of at least 4 will trump up some extra much needed business for us instead of …. no! no! Der, don’t say anything more!   

In national news, now apparently is the time to apply for support and funding if you want to do a training course. The Office of Employment and Vocational Training has more money than ever before to fund applicants, and the government is committed to training 600,000 people during this time of recession.

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Yesterday I tried out the new swimming pool in Rib. Bra. for the first time, I don’t actually like swimming pools much, as I find swimming a bit boring except in the sea, but the new facility is excellent … but well over the top (not quite one of Uncle Bertie’s white elephants though). With the staff and receptionists clearly outnumbering the number of users, changing rooms and showers sufficiently big to host the 2012 Olympic Games, and complete with cafe / restaurant, it was good value for €1.80 to stay as long as you like. You have to wear flip-flops and a swimming cap, although having demonstrated to the receptionist I have far more hair on my chest than on my head, I am not quite sure whether that latter item was a fashion requirement rather than for hygiene. Anyway they insisted, but in compensation I managed to get my cap for free instead of paying €5, so that was a good start to the day. It is very well designed with loads of poolside space, and one nice touch is the floor to ceiling plate glass windows into the gymnasium and fitness room, so you can watch other people suffering more than you as you gently paddle up and down the pool.

I bet everyone is itching to know the story of my newest invention … Sardine and Portuguese Cabbage Fishcakes. Welllllll, at least I am here to tell the tale. Actually they were pretty good, but I must admit that was due somewhat to the tomato paste added to the mix. 

For anyone in my Portuguese lessons surprised to get suddenly lumped with a €20 bill after 2 months, it is not to pay for the staff Xmas lunch as I suggested. It is in fact the price of inscription and includes the school card and school insurance. It has come after two months because the school is obliged to do that, because if you have lessons in this space it means you are then officially defined as “students”. All students pay the €20 for inscription. Ahh well, I am sorry to those I enticed to “free lessons”, obviously education here has a price after all.

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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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Aside from your valued blog responses (you can reply direct using the form at the bottom of each blog comments page), please send any unreported Madeira news, topical photos, events information, or snippets for the madeira4u blog to blog@madeira4u.com – anyone can join in! Thank you!

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