(27th September). Today’s main news headline ‘Abuse Of Minors At Home – Growing with an abuser : it is the drama of children at the mercy of close relatives that exercise the crimes in the secrecy of their homes. But also there are false accusations in cases of litigious divorce’. Sub headline : ‘When the enemy lives inside the house’. There are dozens of cases of sexual abuse of children every year in the Family Court. The abuser is nearly always a relative or neighbour. Most of the victims are girls aged between 7 and 12, with the abusers being men. A father, stepfather, an uncle or neighbour, but the story is always terrible and scars for life. On Madeira the cases exposed mostly involve children in unstructured and poor families, although it happens in all the social classes. I don’t want to read the article any further, but I am sure that gives a gist of the problem, albeit probably unwanted. I have heard the matter talked about, and even know a victim (who is definitely scarred), and back then it was almost a part of life for some. At least now some of these cases do get exposed, and there is something the kids can do, that’s if they have the courage to face the consequences.
‘Elevator Of Fajã Fell With 17 People On Board – A cable came loose and two people were injured after a 50 metre fall, until the the safety [brake?] mechanism was activated’. The two injured foreigners were taken to hospital, with one said to be "serious", after the accident in Fajã dos Padres. The lift was on the way up when the cable ‘came loose’. Both tourists were released from hospital later, one suffered an exposed fracture to a hand, the other with chest pains. How terrifying! That lift is the one west of Cabo Girão, and the total height of the glass lift ride according to one source I found is 250 metres, one of the highest in Europe. I contemplated going on it a few years ago, but chickened out having arrived there.
‘Line Continues In Order To Narrow The Street – Câmara de Lobo tries to avoid returning €2.1 million to the EU’. One white line that saves the council €2m, but it is not yet certain the solution found by the council will be accepted by Europe. This story has been batted around for months and months, but it may be that finally it is resolved. EU funding was granted for a agricultural road in Limoeiro, a road that should be around 4 metres wide. The council then built a road 5.5 metres wide, that did not qualify for the funding, and it had to be returned, as the council decided it was out of the question to narrow the road. Some bright spark then had the idea of making a 1.5 metre strip down one side, and reserving the lane for pedestrians, a sort of pavement. The remaining road is then 4 metres, and therefore qualifies. Well that’s the theory, but the road isn’t then really wide enough for two cars to pass, so one will end up driving on the ‘pavement’. If the European bureaucrats were stupid enough to be conned out of XXX’s of millions for other scams and white elephants by Madeira, no doubt this will be another con to add to the list. As you may have gathered, and I am taking the side of the taxpayer on this one, as clearly the original application was a con … does that look like a farm track in the photo?
‘Medicines Are More Expensive In Portugal – Electronic prescriptions will save the state €55 million a year’. More than half the medicines sold in Portugal and Madeira have a higher price than in other countries in southern Europe. It is estimated that 61% of medicines are more expensive here than in France, Spain, Italy and Greece. However, the good news is that we receive a good service in our 63 pharmacies. An ageing population means that our pharmacies are going to get busier in the future years. The new electronic prescription system mentioned cannot be introduced yet, as the law needs to be changed for data protection purposes. Can’t argue about the service in the pharmacies that I have used, it has always been excellent, despite the language difficulties I used to have. I even took a stray dog into my local chemist once, and they dealt with her very efficiently, although they didn’t offer any assistance in administering the treatment. I propose a round of applause for our excellent pharmacists at 5 pm this afternoon, anyone joining me?
For those who were miffed or inconvenienced during the TAP strike, and feel a grudge toward the airline, this might sway ones opinion. The pilots already earn an average of €8,600 a month, and are looking for a rise to take them to €9,600.
‘DECO Fail Fresh And Frozen Duck – Serious lapses in hygiene and storage result in a poor classification of the product’. 12 types of pre-packaged and frozen were tested, and found to be defective, mainly through lack of freshness in the innards. All the fresh and frozen products were failed as "unacceptable" by the consumer defence organisation.
A 59 year old man has died from his injuries in hospital. It seems that he fell 10 metres off a wall in Tendeira in Caniço.
‘Super São Roque And Sá Lead In The Low Prices – A study by DECO [consumer protection] analysed 70,000 prices for 181 products throughout Portugal’. Super São Roque and the Sá supermarkets in Santa Cruz, Ribeira Brava and São Martinho came out top on Madeira. One ‘basket’ contained 100 products for those who liked branded products, the other ‘basket’ contained 81 items for low budget customers. Santa Cruz Sá came out overall top, with São Roque in equal second place, but offers the cheapest shopping in Funchal. As for the most expensive, amongst others are the Pingo Doces in Anadia (Funchal) and Dolce Vita, and one of the Modelo stores came out badly as well. The analysis of data collected by DECO show that the savings in your shopping cart can reach €940 [a year?] without having to travel long distances and without cutting the list of products required. I am very surprised that my local Hiper Sá scored so highly. I will have to start going there again and see what the difference is after I switched last year. Anyway, that may be my last blog money saving tip, and may you save €€€’s until the next survey next year.
The ferry company Naveira Armas, that operates the services between Madeira and Portugal, is to put itself forward as a candidate to operate a ferry service for the Azores.
Marítimo lost 2 – 1 at home against Naval yesterday : ‘New Setback Intensifies Challenge For Carvalhal’.
‘Day To Choose Representatives – 260 thousand Madeiran voters elect today the six deputies that will represent Madeira in Lisbon. There are 12 parties and movements in total running in the legislative elections’. Another article I am going to skip, as it’s just churning over old ground. The c.250 ‘urns’ in 52 parishes opened at 8 am today. They will close at 7 pm, and the first projections are expected an hour later.
‘European experts monitor elections on Madeira – Observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe come to see if the elections are ‘clean’. Two observers from the OSCE are here to make sure that there is no monkey business going on. The observers are from Armenia and Bosnia, and have already made contact with the party leaders, candidates, representatives of the state, and journalists. The politicians and parties have also been forbidden from doing any campaigning or carry out any activities relating to the local elections on 11th October, until tomorrow that is.
Something I didn’t realise until now, that if there should be a change of government after today, it should be able to begin it’s functions at the end of October. However, the Assembly of the Republic cannot be dissolved until March 2010.
I can’t believe I have managed to get through the complete Diário today before midday, less than 3 hours. All the reporters must be out on election duty. Looks like I will have a bit of free time to skulk around the local polling stations this afternoon and mingle with the crowds. I may have a look at the Jornal later on, but there again maybe not.