New Ryanair Base In Porto ; EEM Performed Well In 2008 ; 30% Of Madeira Companies ‘At Risk’

(6th August). ‘Alberquerque Bets On 7 Counsellors And Mixes The List – João Rodrigues rises to 4th place, Calado goes down to 7th, and the second woman on the list, Lina Camacho, is 6th’. Miguel Albuquerque, president of Funchal Câmara is aiming for 7 social democrat counsellors in the forthcoming local elections, one more than achieved in 2005. If the European election results are anything to go by, then that is very likely to be achieved. The final list of 11 PSD-M candidates is due to be submitted to the district court in Funchal today.

‘PS-M Wants Ombudsman In Funchal – The measure would tackle the issues with ‘connections’ and ‘favours’ in the câmara’. The mediator between the population and the council would also look to reduce bureaucracy and favouritism in the council, and improve services generally, and create some new jobs, said a socialist spokesman.

‘Days Of Reflection And Elections Will Have Street Publicity – The local election campaign will run over the national elections’. The Saturday and Sunday of 26th and 27th September are supposed to be propaganda free under election rules, but because the local election campaign will be running during the voting in national elections, there is a bit of a dilemma in politics on what to do. In theory, all posters and political advertising should be removed over that weekend, but the logistics and costs of doing so are quite unrealistic. Two parties have already announced that they will not remove all their street garbage over that weekend, the PCP (communists) and BE (Left Block), and the BE has already approached Funchal council to arrange a meeting to see what action it will be taking, or enforcing, for all the parties as a whole. The National Electoral Commission will have the final say, and the PS-M have said they will abide by the decision made by the CNE, but the secretary-general of the socialists reminds of the high costs and difficulties that it would incur in the party, both logistically, and through needing considerable resources with many people involved. If I was the boss of the CNE, I know what my decision would be, force them all to remove everything, just to make them spend as much as possible, then there is less money to spend on future propaganda.

"Drug addicts are not criminals". BE (Left Block) are again asking for Madeirans to give their vote to elect a member to the Assembly of the Republic, who among other things, will defend the treatment of drug addicts and fight against attempts to criminalize the use of drugs. A proposal was accepted by the PSD-M to sentence drug users for up to 6 months in prison. The BE believes that drug addicts "are patients and not mere criminals". I wouldn’t waste a bottle of Coral putting out a fire as far as the BE are concerned (there, that was politely put), but with all the other problems being experienced at present is that really the best headline policy they can come up with? I thought drug taking was already criminal, or is that just a technicality around drug possession?

In the economy …

(6th August). Today’s main news headline : ‘30% Of Companies Are At High Risk – Around 4,660 companies, a third of those registered on Madeira, have a high rate of risk above the national average, a situation that makes access to credit difficult. The conclusion is that of a multinational analysis’. The risk analysis study carried out in June covered 5 regions in Portugal, and Madeira and the Azores, assessed 15,292 existing businesses here and on Porto Santo, labelling 4,665 as "high risk", the worst result of all the regions assessed at 30.5%. Nationally the average statistic comes out at 25.2%.

(5th August). ‘Fuel Costs Rose 38%, Electricity Sold Worth €110.3 Million – EEM closed 2008  with a profit of €3.7 million’. The Electricity Company of Madeira declared results that show that public enterprises can have positive results with effective management, and meet their commitments. Total income amounted to €213.6 million, an increase of 18.6%, and the operating revenue was up 21% to €204.6 million. Revenue from electricity sales was up 8.8%, due to a 4.5% growth in consumption, and an average price rise also of around 4.5%. Costs were reported as being €209.3 million, 18% higher than in 2007, the increase due in part to increasing fuel prices, and also due to growing purchases from third party private generators, the latter accounting for expenditure of €89.2 million (up €21.6 million). At the end of 2008 EEM had 134,112 power consumers, up 2,486 on 2007, and is the biggest company on Madeira. I for one think they have managed to contain their charges to customers very well given the instability in oil prices, clearly absorbing some of their fuel cost increases … so thank you from me, and for a pretty reliable service, and for pretty accurate bills.

(6th August). ‘Ryanair Announces Its First Domestic Flight In Portugal – The ‘low-cost’ airline will connect the city of Porto to Faro’. The service will start on 26th October and fly four times a week. The company will also set up a new base in Porto. The flights will be on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. It will also launch new flights between Porto and Germany (Dusseldorf and Baden Baden) three times a week. Tickets will go on sale on the company website today, and there will be a million seats priced at one Euro for all three destinations, including airport taxes, for flying in October and November. In total Ryanair intends to operate 21 flights from Porto, carrying 1.8 million passengers a year, with even Lisbon being a possible connection. I think the article is incorrect, as it says the million €1 seats are only available until Friday, and I hardly think that one million seat bookings would be possible within that time. So either the number of €1 seats is wrong, or the deadline is wrong, or both.

Leave a comment

Translate »