Professional Beggars, Anadia Lifts, The 25th Wakens Funchal, & Other Snippets

TODAY’S PHOTO : Thanks to Tobi …great photo, but the float is just stunning. Yesterday’s flower festival parade.

Front Page News : main source : Diário de Notícias 26/4/2009

Yesterday’s main headline ‘Professional Beggars – It’s not illegal, but there are networks of organised beggary that exploit physical deficiencies and the good faith of the citizens’. They arrive in Funchal by taxi, and live in luxury rented properties, with one landlord confirming that they pay the rent. Tricks of the trade seem to be feigning amputated limbs, and using wheelchairs and babies as props. Once in a while someone comes by to empty the takings from the plastic cups, and tell the gang when it’s time to go home. The Diário says they are foreigners, who have brought the bad habits of eastern Europe. There is no proof, but one comment suggests they can make up to €500 per day. The Diário reporter went undercover and followed them around, publishing a log of movements and events of ‘The New Mafia’. We already know of this of course, in small pockets, but this is the first time that it has been reported in such a formal manner. It was only a couple of months ago on this blog, that we discussed the lady supposed to be crippled, who at the end of her ‘shift’ gets up and walks off.

‘Radical April – War vehicles in the city, flags of FLAMA, the usual lunches and evening meals, and an empty parliament : It is April on Madeira, audacious and radicalised’. That story had 4 front page photos, and relates to the marking of the ‘Revolution of the Carnation’ on Saturday, 35 years after the dictatorship was ousted. The new democrats political party organised the return of troops onto the streets of Funchal, along with 6 military vehicles. Lots of things going on, but the highlight for me would have been the ex-mp, José Manuel Coelho (aka The Rabbit), megaphone in hand, ordering President Jardim to surrender, which he did and he was subsequently taken prisoner, but was rescued soon after by the police. (FLAMA = Liberation Front of the Archipelago da Madeira).

‘União Champion – The final hectic test, with incidents in Prazeres, where the title race was decided’. After beating Estrela da Calheta 1 – 2, CF União won the Coral League of Madeira.

Bernard Trinidade, the secretary of state for tourism in Lisbon, will not stand for the socialists for a place on Funchal Council (Câmara) in the forthcoming elections, as was reported in the Diário of the previous day. Of course he won’t, and that’s why I didn’t mention the matter before, despite the Diário and other politicians taking it seriously. Shame though, he would be a great asset with all his contacts and experience in tourism, but let’s face it, it would be like going from chief executive to boot polisher in terms of status.

‘Serra D’Água – The Diário goes to another parish, where the lady farmers ask for a market’. There are little more than 1,500 inhabitants, but farming is big business. The men who have jobs work mostly in civil construction, and the women stay home, with a ‘bit of plowing’ to do as well. The Pestana sisters, who live near the hydro-electric power plant, say that the only art they know is the ‘hoe’, “we dig it, plant it, water it” says one of the sisters, adding that all the produce is for personal consumption. There is much abandoned land in the area, purely because there is insufficient water to keep the crops alive. Many of the residents don’t know how to read or write, and the president of the ‘Casa do Povo’ 3 years ago managed to get an adult education class going, but now only 10 people continue to attend. Unusually, no mention of crime or drugs, as highlighted in many previous reports.

‘Farinha Sells His Company – The continental group Norvia acquires the majority shareholding in Prima, that belongs to Avelino Farinha’. I have never heard of either company, so that kills that story off!

Other News :

The first two days of the flower festival brought 19 thousand visitors to the Flower Exhibition in Avenida Arriga, compared to the 34 thousand that came last year during all the four days. Sounds good, but wasn’t there bad weather last year though?

If you like to shop in the Anadia shopping centre in Funchal, look out if you choose to use the lifts. According to the inspection discs in the two lifts, the last time they were checked was on 11th November 2005.

In a speech in the Madeira Technipolo on Saturday, the leader of the socialists gave his assessment of the PSD-M (social democrats) and the ruling government, calling it the ‘black heritage’. The list included an abysmal record on alcoholism, drug addiction, schools, hospitals and health centers without decent conditions, plundering of nature, corruption and fear “this is the heritage of the PSD and the Government”, said João Carlos Gouveia.

In yesterday’s football, Nacional managed a great 1 – 2 away win at Belenenses, keeping alive slim hopes of a place in Europe, whilst Marítimo lost 3 – 2 away at Benfica, despite a very good performance … somewhat better than the 0 – 6 home defeat against the same team earlier in the season.

A very thin newspaper yesterday, probably with everyone out enjoying the ‘April 25th’ commemorations, and the flower festival too.

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, stories, or snippets for the madeira4u blog to [email protected] – anyone can join in! Thank you!

7 thoughts on “Professional Beggars, Anadia Lifts, The 25th Wakens Funchal, & Other Snippets”

  1. just wondering if anyone has tried camping here, either at the "official" places like montadao do perreiro, Porto Moniz or elsewhere. My 2 kids want to try it out for a weekend but I'm not so keen! Any suggestions welcome

  2. Hi Der , the weather was fine up until the actual parade on the Sunday last year, it started to rain about 3pm, and of course didnt stop for 4 days apart from the brief rest bite on the Monday when the Parade went ahead, but those further round the course did get wet as the rain returned before the end.

    The Diario seem to do a great job of undercover work, maybe they should swap places with the police, who seen to prefer to sit on their arses with pen in hand…..

  3. Hi Anna, i would imaging its quite safe, but i think you have to stick to the official sites , or the Forest rangers will move them on.


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