Ponta do Sol lacks drinking water ; Civil Servants cost taxpayers €688 million ; News snippets

Today’s photo – Many thanks to Selina … Christmas 2009 nativity scene

madeira news blog 0912 selina christmas 2009 nativity

 Many thanks to Paul for spotting and sending in this blog he found :

Life in Madeira for a young American including the club scene : "I honestly don’t think the general population works Friday to Monday because I can’t think of any way people could party in this manner and still be functional for a full day of work on Monday"

"..the bars and clubs here don’t even get going until 1am!! The nightlife here in Madeira begins after midnight and party go-ers trance the night away until 7 or 8 am"

The blog of Kaitlin Sowinski, "a young American amazon from Hopkinton (Rhode Island – US) who has lived in Madeira for 3 months and plays professional basketball with Clube Amigos do Basquet (CAB) of Funchal. In her blog she describes how she (tries to) adjust to live on a island like Madeira. The differences she encounters in the area such as culture, food, language, and daily living habits. Also she gives a firsthand impression of what options are available for people her age, …. what to do and having fun (or not) …. in comparison with US ’standards’." : the words of Don Amaro

Christmas Medley by the orchestra from “1st Plectrum Orchestra Training” directed by Norberto Gonçalves da Cruz. Recorded in the Baltazar Dias Municipal Theater in Funchal, Madeira on December 12, 2008.

Today’s news headlines from the front page of the Diário de Notícias :

Madeira is not immune from being hit by a Tsunami – Inventory of risk areas set out in Geological Cartography, to be published. The tsunami in Asia was 5 years ago.



‘100 people waiting for home help’.




Bad weather leaves Ponta do Sol without water – The supply was cut due to a rock fall in Rabaças. Yesterday, priority aid was being given to households unreservedly. Tap water is currently undrinkable in Ponta do Sol and also in some parts of Ribeira Brava. A flood that occurred in the early part of Xmas eve damaged the mains supply in Rabaças, interrupting the service. During that day many residents were not having any problems as there was water stored in the household tanks, but the problem increased as time went on. Some people contacted by the Diário reporters didn’t know about the warning given by the Council of Ponta do Sol to avoid consuming the water, as there were strong chances of it not being of adequate quality. Others were already aware of the situation and just did not use the water, even for washing. The problem will take several days to resolve, but in the meantime a tanker from the fire brigade will drive around the affected areas to provide drinking water. Various parts of Santana are also without water, and the problem in São Vicente has been well publicised.

According to the same article, bad weather ravaged / destroyed the sea-front walks (boardwalks) in Faial and Madalena do Mar.

Launch sinks in Funchal Marina.

Today’s main news headline : Civil servants and public workers cost €688 million – Over 35 thousand Madeirans work for the government, councils or public companies. They cost 688 million Euros a year and represent 30% of the employed on Madeira. That doesn’t sound like a story that cropped up over Xmas, like the tsunami one, so I guess the Diário staff enjoyed Christmas like everyone else. So 30% of the workers on Madeira are civil servants and public employees, so no wonder Uncle Bertie wins the elections time after time, if they all work for him. Typical indicator of a dictatorship I would imagine, or perhaps even a communisty sort of regime. A quick calculation reveals that every man woman or child, living on Madeira not including the 35,000 workers, has a tax burden of €3,200 just to pay the 35,000 civil servants. So around 54% of the remaining population have jobs and pay tax on those jobs, so that’s almost a €6,000 tax burden per non-government employed taxpayer, equivalent to around the annual minimum wage. Even with taxes from other sources, businesses, indirect taxation, and from the 35,000 government workers themselves etc., Madeira cannot sustain this wage bill unassisted, so recent comments in Portugal that Madeira  feeds off of  the continentals are looking decidedly believable. These 35,000 jobs are also likely to be cushy numbers, very well paid, and very secure, and are highly prized and sought after, and also give one considerable social status. Mind-blowing numbers, for providing public services that strike one as not being particularly efficient!

The sport / football headline today : Angola call on Verde-Rubro Djalma. Nacional player Mateus is out of the ‘Palancas’, through injury. Djalma has been called up to represent his country in a competition in Angola, and may be out of Madeira for the whole of January. His fellow countryman, a Nacional player, is meanwhile sidelined with a knee injury.

If anyone else can oblige with the translation of any of the ‘blank’ or sparsely filled headlines, or other news stories, here is the link Thank you in anticipation.

If you can, please contribute something Madeira related. A funny story or good or bad experience, a news item, or a story from a Madeira newspaper, a photo or video, a teaser, news of a bargain flight or item in a supermarket. Please help keep this blog going … without user contributions it won’t survive. Please don’t send in automatic translations (like Google translator) without checking them through and correcting them first, thanks.

You can email [email protected] with any large contributions and photos / videos.


Please use the comments here for general chit-chat, or feel free to ask any questions … someone usually has an answer.

If you post a comment and are not registered on this site (free), your comment will be moderated, so please do not waste time with spam postings.  If you register, your comment will be posted automatically. If you register, your email address will not be passed to any other party … promise!

Please send any topical or Madeira related photos or videos to Der at [email protected] to appear on this blog. Photos may take a while to appear, depending on the number waiting. Please don’t send copyrighted material.

The headline news & other snippets reviewed here on the blog are mainly from the Diário de Notícias of Madeira, although news from any source is used and welcome.

The blogs in the ‘uncategorised’ category come from the old madeira4u blog.


Madeira News Blog © 2007 – 2009 All Rights Reserved

8 thoughts on “Ponta do Sol lacks drinking water ; Civil Servants cost taxpayers €688 million ; News snippets”

  1. Quite day on here today.

    I believe the sand has been washed away in calheta, the web cam is not working so cant confirm, anyone been out that way for a look? and a friend of mine has told me that the sand has all gone from one of the few natural sandy beaches in Madeira, the beach at prainha is said to be just rocks, below is a link to my photo of Prainha when it had sand , if anyone gets a pic of it now i would love to see…


  2. its on the way to ponts de sao lorenço Martin, near Caniçal, will be a great shame if the sand has gone.

    Thanks ellen for the webcam.

    Is the water back on in Ponta do Sol yet???

  3. Water at low pressure in PDS – pissed off as we didn-t know about quality and used as normal as soon as the service came back on – we now all have the squits!!!!!

    small axe to bear after a xmas without the damned stuff and 5 people sharing a loo with only a jerry can full of levada water to flush with…….baby wipes to wash and boiled rain water to wash up dishes (with small dose of bleach to be extra sure).

    How the hell did people cope in the old days?

    On another note> has anyone been to the giga park recently?

    I bought my daughter and neice some tickets from the raffle van and my daughter won a number premio prize. The chap said that we had to go back today at 6pm to collect it. We went, no prize, told to come back at 7pm, we did and then told to come back at 9pm…by this time we were irate as she has won a prize but keeps being fobbed off as to when we collect it! There are no details on how and the people on the van are putting us off……..others are also having problems. Has anyone else had a problem or sussed out on how this works?

    Also, I am a bit concerned at some of the saftety issues regarding the rides……. my 16 year old was adamant that I should go on with her and now at the grand old age of 40 these things do not look as appealing as they once did 10 years ago….however, up for the chalenge I did my mum part and did a few – the banana shaped roller coaster was sincerely nasty……does not look that bad until you are riding it…..the kangeroo was bearable as long as you are not Tobi with a back problem or his spine would shoot through his head on that one!

    The one we did tonight was absolutely awful, in that similar to the kangeroo, this thing spins you round at great g-forces that want to lift you out of your seat and fling you in to the river and would if you slipped out of the harness as it doesnt hold you and the safety belt that keeps you firmly in the chair has been cut off…do health and safety actually check these things?

    Would love your thoughts on the raffles as my daughter wants her prize as promised…but we are not bemused at the thought of a third trip there to be fobbed off again!


Leave a comment

Translate »