TODAY’S PHOTO : Thanks to Tobi … Working at last! The cable car at Garajau.
Front Page News : main source : Diário de Notícias 24/4/2009
The Portuguese Association for Medical Products is to ensure that the health service here clears its debts, many as old as 3 years. The debts were accumulated by Funchal Hospital within a former structure of Madeira’s health service, for products such as wheelchairs, pacemakers, syringes, pregnancy testing kits, amongst others.
Yesterday’s main story : ‘The Election Commission Orders Santa Cruz To The Public Prosecutor – The war of propaganda posters enters a new phase : The Election commission considers that the council of Santa Cruz disobeyed the law in removing the posters of political parties and has referred the matter to the courts’. It is an unprecedented situation in Portugal, and following the decision of the council to remove the election campaign posters of the Left Block and CDU parties, the president of the council will now be judged for the crime of disobedience after refusing to replace the posters that were removed. The council has the support of President Jardim (how surprising, as it involves the posters of other parties), and a similar situation also exists in São Vicente.
‘New Record : Unemployment Hits 11,456 – For the first time the level of Madeira’s unemployment exceeds the national level’. In Portugal the unemployment level is stated as 8.6%, whilst on Madeira it has now hit 9%. At the end of 2008 Madeira had 6%, whilst Portugal was suffering 7.8%.
‘Secretary Of State For Tourism In The 8th Meeting Of Generations – He is in Venezuela on 23rd May to talk about tourism as a means of union between populations’. This is about an annual meeting that aims to connect the peoples of Portugal and Venezuela, in sport, politics, social, and cultural matters.
‘Diplomatic Party Causes Pile-up’. A diplomatic convey with a police escort caused an accident on the Via Rápida near Viveiros on Thursday, involving four vehicles. No one was seriously hurt. A police spokesman confirmed the accident, but refused to give an further details pending an internal investigation.
The main picture of the front page shows a narrow road dominated by heavy lorries : ‘Hell Of Lorries Continues – The landfill sites that serve an abundance of heavy vehicles becomes legalised. But the annoyance for the locals who utilise the roads is tremendous’. The winding road called Estrada das Carreiras (ER 203), has stretches where two lorries cannot pass. It serves two landfill sites, now properly licenced, and there is nothing in law that can be done to remedy the situation. The road surface, which was not built for so much heavy traffic, is suffering badly as the trucks loaded with tons and tons of earth and stones take their toll, and even the rally organisers have rerouted the courses for participants. Residents complain that houses are being damaged due to the heavy movements and that the noise is unbearable. One resident said that they cannot even open the front doors of their houses along the stretch of road between Vale Paraíso and Poiso. Savvy tourists and excursion companies have already abandoned use of the road. The Diário reporter counted up the number of passing trucks during one afternoon, and from that estimated that 232 trucks pass along that road every day.
Other News :
Two new licences for Pharmacies will be up for grabs soon, for anyone who fancies opening up shop in Monte or São Roque.
Hotel occupation rates are up to 87% for the 54th Flower Festival. The losses in tourist numbers from the British and German markets, have been partially replaced with clients from Portugal, along with Russians, Czechs, Poles and Estonians. The secretary for tourism is optimistic that the domestic and emerging tourist markets will offset traditional tourist losses, but it is still too early to be sure. (please send in a few photos if you can – thanks).
In a report in the Diário a few days ago, repeated on this blog, it was stated that although the number of cruise ships coming here in the first 3 months of 2009 was up, the number of passengers was down by 1% on the same period last year. In one of those silly errors that newspapers sometimes make, the number of passengers was input as 113,164, instead of 131,164. So instead of a 1% reduction, it was in fact an increase of over 15%!
Portugal is to have a new saint from tomorrow, with a canonization taking place in the Vatican. Blessed Nuno Alvares Pereira will become São Nuno de Santa Maria, watched by a full house of visiting Portuguese, all prepared to pay between €800 and €1300 to see the event. I can’t afford to go, but for sure I will be marking the occasion in some manner that involves a beer or two.
Weekend football : Both our teams play on Sunday, with Marítimo visiting Benfica (0 – 6 on Madeira, still the biggest thrashing this season in the premier league), 8pm on SportTV1. Earlier, at 4pm but not televised, Nacional go to Belenenses, and if they lose I think they have no chance of getting into Europe next season.
The latest Easyjet offer : “Up to 25% off every seat, on every route to and from the UK throughout Summer 2009. Book now for great discounts on every flight from 1 June to 30 September. Offer ends at midnight, Tuesday 28 April”. These offers are a bit hit and miss from Madeira, but I thought I ought to mention it anyway.
Today marks the 35th anniversary of the ‘Revolução do Cravos’, or the revolution of the carnations, being the end of a period of nearly 50 years of dictatorship. No doubt anyone here will see the occasion being marked in some way.
I am hoping to catch up on some zzzzzz’s and work on the new blog, but I wish everyone else a good weekend!
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!