Inaugurations Soar ; Minimum Wage Lowest In Euro Zone ; Madeira’s Unpaid Bills & Loans

(4th August). Today’s main news headline : ‘Madeirans Invest €213 Million In Angola – The group ‘Irmãos Chaves’ are going to complete two projects: A logistics park and a housing enterprise’. The 600 apartment housing complex and the business park will both use Portuguese materials, or even better from Madeira if possible, explained the group administrator.

Onto politics :

‘Rui Caetano Concerned With "Hurried Works" – The PS candidate for Funchal Câmara warned about the quality and cost of the work and impact on jobs’. The socialist  candidate warned in particular about the public garden in São Martinho where workers have been working extra hours to get the job finished quickly. The article doesn’t say as much, but it is that time when everything is pushed to completion at all costs so President Jardim can get a pre-election inauguration, and score extra points with the voters.

‘All New, Save Arlindo – In Câmara de Lobos and Santana, the councillors are excluded, only Arlindo Gomes escaped’. Gomes is now the candidate for a third term to serve as president in Câmara de Lobos for the PSD-M social democrats, and that is official, as the final lists for those two regions were submitted to the tribunal that controls such election matters. The rest were excluded or have councillor positions without the right to ‘executive portfolios’ (not sure I quite understand that?). Arlindo Gomes guaranteed that the changes were "peaceful". Rui Moses will replace Carlos Pereira, who since 1984 was the candidate for the PSD-M in Santana.

‘Seven Inaugurations In A Week In Time For The Pre-Election Campaign – He returned to a wave of inaugurations. Then the president goes on holiday’. Yesterday the president of Madeira opened a roundabout and a urban renewal project in Porto Moniz, the first of 7 inaugurations, then he goes to Porto Santo on holiday. For an inauguration near you check  AUGUST PROGRAMME

‘Interest Payments Of The Programme ‘Pay On Time’ Could Be Increased – The Accounting Tribunal (auditors) have alerted that Madeira’s government is not meeting the deadlines on loans totalling €257.7 million’. An audit by the Court of Auditors (CT) warns that the Directorate General of Treasury and Finance may exacerbate the interest rate, by way of a penalty, on the money owed under the State program ‘pay on time’, for failing to meet the dates set by National Government. Money has been borrowed in several loans, and been used to pay off older loans as well as provide finance for expenditure in 2008. The audit recommends that the government here avoids taking on any new forms of debt.

(3rd August). A leftover from yesterday’s front page : ‘Member of Madeira Parliament Changes The Legislative Assembly For The Câmara Of Ribeira Brava’. The social democrat of PSD-M Rui Gouveia ceases to be a deputy in the ALM to become a councillor with Ismael Fernandes (president of the council in Ribeira Brava), and will stand in the October elections.

Finally some national stories :

This story was on the front page of the Diário : ‘7 Years For Isaltino Morais – The former PSD minister will serve 7 years in prison, for corruption, abuse of power, and financial fraud. And he loses the mandate of president of the Câmara of Oerias’. Obviously a national story, but bent politicians always catch the headlines, especially around election times when newspapers are looking to influence. Did I mention money laundering as well? The man still protests his innocence, justifying a €400,000 stash in a Swiss bank account as "campaign leftovers", and other funds gained through investments and inheritances (€1.32 million in total). The social democrat was accused also of having "received money in envelopes delivered at the office of the câmara", to license lots, buildings or exchanges of land. I suppose the burning question in court was ‘were the envelopes brown?’, a crucial issue when deciding financial malpractice. Terrible thing … I just hope it never catches on here. Changing the subject slightly … António Lobo (Ponto do Sol, PSD), and Luís Gabriel Rodrigues (Santa Cruz, PSD), both ex-presidents of the câmaras in those areas … never hear much about them these days?

‘CGTP wants to increase minimum wage – Portugal are in the last place in the European Euro Zone’. The CGTP (General Confederation of Portuguese Workers) warned yesterday the "urgent need" to increase the real wages of the Portuguese, especially the minimum wage, being still "very far" from that practiced in most countries of the European Union. "The latest figures published by Eurostat on the value of the minimum wage in the European Union shows that Portugal remains far from the general level of these countries". Just Slovakia is worse. The minimum wage in Portugal will rise to €500 in January 2011, not even enough to cover the cost of living for many. Pensions here are also criticised for not keeping up with the cost of living.

248 passengers were detained before departure of yesterday’s flight between Caracas (Venezuela) and Lisbon when it was discovered there were drug mules on board. 3 passengers were detected with drugs stashed in their stomachs, but none were Portuguese. Another article says that last year 580 kilos of cocaine was seized at Lisbon airport, most of it coming from Venezuela.

1 thought on “Inaugurations Soar ; Minimum Wage Lowest In Euro Zone ; Madeira’s Unpaid Bills & Loans”

  1. Brown Envelopes: Of course it will never catch on here Der …. Senor L G Rodrigues (ex-president of Santa Cruz Camara PSD) is safely ensconsed (with total impunity) in a position within the Camara of Funchal…..


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