Recycle Your Oil ; Jardim Breaks Election Rules ; Car Parts Stolen ‘To Order’ ; New Mail Fraud

(8th August). ‘Oleões Are To Become Mandatory – Madeira through environmental protection measures, has already acquired several Oleões, but they are not yet in use’. During the coming years there will be placed on our roads ‘Ecopontos’ for the collection and recycling of used cooking oils, called Oleões. The new rule was approved by the government on Wednesday, as a part of a scheme about the management of the waste product, that define the collection points (around 70), the correct transport to be used, the treatment and the refining. Portugal produces between 43 and 65 thousand tons of waste oil (a year?), and environmentalists and such organisations have applauded the move. A spokesman at Funchal Municipal Council, agrees with the measure of  central government because it may prevent people throwing waste oils into their sinks. "This has two drawbacks," he explains. "The oil solidifies in a process of hydrogenation and blocks the sewage pipes, but also ultimately affect the mechanisms of the Waste Water Treatment Plant in Almirante Reis". Collection and recycling mechanisms are already in place for restaurants, hotels and other businesses. Production of biodiesel is one of the main uses for used cooking oil. One litre of cooking oil is capable of polluting a million litres of clean water.

‘New form of fraud by mail arrives on Madeira’. The fraudsters don’t stop coming up with new ideas. One businessman who was mailed, and wished to remain anonymous, received a letter from South Africa about an inheritance relating to an unknown person. A lawyer, called Michael Smith, says that he is representative of the engineer Manuel Arriaga who died in an accident with his wife and three children. He left estate worth $18.5 million, which is to be shared amongst relatives, in this case the businessman. … I am sure you already know the rest of the story, if not take a look at some of the cases HERE (great reading if you have some time to spare).

‘Journalists Union Rejects Dismissals In Diário de Notícias’. The union at national level issued a communiqué yesterday considering unfair and unjustifiable the collective dismissal of 10 reporters and 3 other employees employed on Madeira. Taking into account the national link to one of the most important media companies, and the strength of the ownership on Madeira, the union considers the financial and economic reasons for the action, given by the company, do not justify the action taken. It argues that cut backs and cost reducing measures already implemented will result in a profit this year of almost €600,000, compared to a loss last year of nearly €450,000.

Recycle Your Oil ; Jardim Breaks Election Rules ; Car Parts Stolen 'To Order' ; New Mail Fraud 1 ‘Car Parts Are The Aim Of Thieves’. Theft of car parts is a growing concern in recent times, and the growing frequency indicates that the thefts are organised on a parts-to-order basis. Trims, panels, lights, tyres, windscreen wipers, are all being stolen, in public places. Two more cases of ‘car stripping’ were reported yesterday. The Mitsubishi car shown had around €3,000 worth of parts stolen in Reis Magos. I can’t believe windscreen wipers would be robbed to order, more likely a pranks by lads coming back after a long night at the pub. Talking of such things, I suffered a broken toilet seat, and my toaster broke down last week … anyone know of any such scheme where I can get cheap ‘used’ parts, as I am too tight to buy new. Thanks.

‘Inspections Tightened For Pedlars – Jardim announces measures to defend traders’. This seems to be the rest of the story that was started in the previous posting. The Madeira president announced that inspections were to be increased on street pedlars. He made the announcement Friday when inaugurating the remodelled miradouro (view point) at Portela in Machico. "We will tighten supervision to protect the traders that are legitimately working in this area" he said. He also stressed the responsibilities of shop owners, regarding payment of taxes, salaries and the social security payments of the workers, a reality that does not apply with the "competition from people who do not observe the quality of merchandise, rules of hygiene, and do not pay taxes and social security".

Today’s main news headline : ‘Quinta Vigia Mixes PSD With Government – The schedule divulged by the Presidency with the official acts of the chief of the government mixes in initiatives of Jardim’s party. A mixture that goes against legal standards and ethics’. A true ‘two in one’ is what was provided by the Office of the Presidency of the Government, that on Thursday announced the agenda for Alberto João Jardim for the period that he will be on Porto Santo. Quinta Vigia (office of the presidency) announced all the official events in which the President of the Government will be present, especially inaugurations, but also includes their (PSD-M) partisan agenda. Towards the beginning of the document, under ‘Information for the media’, it is referred to as the schedule of the ‘President of the government and the PSD’ for 2009 on Porto Santo. Other slips are : August 12th – 6:30 pm – Presentation of candidates of the local PSD of Porto Santo, in the Congress Centre; August 22nd – 9.30 pm – Rally of the PSD of Porto Santo. All this in the middle of official presidential acts. This mix of presidential duties and political events is a clear overlap between party and government in a pre-election period, and has no parallel in the rest of the country. Even the Prime Minister of Portugal, for example, does not include in his official agenda, anything which makes references to his activities as Secretary General of the PS (Socialist Party). The duty of impartiality and neutrality of holders of public bodies and holders of public office, public companies, mixed-capital companies and concessionaires of public services, is set out in the various Portuguese electoral laws. In the election law for the Assembly of the Republic it is set out in Article 57 to holders of public office and other officials, that they must demonstrate "strict impartiality" from the time that the election date is announced. Breaking the rules is punishable, according to Article 172 of the municipal election law, with imprisonment of up to two years or a hefty fine. Among the duties of impartiality and neutrality is the prohibition of reference to election campaigns, during the performance of official duties, or acts that support or undermine one candidate over another. References to a party at inaugurations, for example, can be construed as a violation of this rule, as can the display of party symbols, flags, and publicity. This could be quite a clanger, but I am not sure it is quite as clear cut as the Diário makes it out to be. Uncle Bertie has been reported as breaking these rules several times lately, and the truth is that PSD business is always there in part of Jardim’s official duties, but this time it is there in black and white, prior to going to Porto Santo, possibly making it premeditated disobedience of election laws. That will probably be his next mission now, to change the election law so that he doesn’t break it, just like he did with the smoking law last year.

‘Guilherme Silva Rejects Accusations of ‘Virtual Candidates’ – Jardim won’t speak with the journalists’. The PSD-M social democrats yesterday morning delivered to a court in Funchal it’s candidate list for the legislative elections on 27th September. Alberto João Jardim is the number one candidate on the list, as he has been for the last 30 years, but again he won’t take his seat in the Assembly of the Republic. The PS-M socialists accused him of being a ‘virtual candidate’, but the number 2 on the list, Guilherme Silva, rejects the accusation saying that the PS-M are thirty years behind, and that Jardim does it for prestige, and because one day he may have to attend in São Bento (Lisbon).

(7th August). This in yesterday’s Jornal da Madeira : ‘Businesses Should Seek Compensation – Jardim appealed to investors harmed by popular legal actions that are dismissed’.  At an inauguration of 47 apartments in Caniço … Bella Vista III, president Jardim said that the construction was delayed 7 months by ‘popular actions’ (being in this case a neighbour) and that businesses should fight back when the case is dismissed, and take reciprocal court action against those responsible. He said such actions are economic sabotage, and should be controlled, and in the event that the court finds such actions to be frivolous, the business harmed should seek damages against losses incurred. He then rattles on about the jurisdiction of the republic over Madeira, and interference in the Municipal Plan of Santa Cruz, which is being modified.

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