Carnival videos ; Fuel shortage on Porto Santo ; Dumping at Porto da Cruz ; Banana debt

Today’s photo – Many thanks to Pete … "pride of Madeira"

madeira news blog 1002 pete pride of madeira

Many thanks to Becky for these videos :

A little snippet of this year’s Funchal Carnaval, it’s marked "Parte 1", so I’m guessing more will follow on youtube.  No sign of Bertie, but some people on floats doing their best to wiggle in the rain.

And Ribeira Brava Carnaval… which one are you, Der? I wasn’t on camera Becky, but I must have been stood right next to the man who took this (and he is a man, agreed!) without noticing on Sunday afternoon. Der

Many thanks to Elaine once again some web snippets and yesterday’s top news stories :

Funchal City Guide. Latest news, weather, accommodation and tips. HERE

Madeira Camping. Details and online booking of the camp sites on Madeira and Porto Santo. GET YER TENT OUT

Radar station in Madeira threatens Zino’s Petrel.  After many years of uncertainty and inaction, the Portuguese Government has finally started building a military radar on top of Pico do Areeiro, one of Madeira’s most popular tourist destinations and the only home of Zino’s Petrel Pterodroma madeira, a rare endemic seabird …..  ….. "This is the only known breeding site in the world of Zino’s Petrel, […] the rarest seabird in Europe and one of the rarest birds in the world" —Dr Ian Burfield, European Research and Database Manager at BirdLife International … HERE

Madeira Atlantic Festival Programme, 5th June – 26th June. The Madeira Atlantic Festival is held in June and it is becoming one of the most important events in Madeira Island. The programme includes a wide number of events, such as: fireworks and musical displays on Saturday nights in Funchal harbour, the Classic Car Rally, a special race where classic cars ride around the island; street entertainment with philharmonic bands and other performances; the traditional popular saints festivities like the “Festa de São João”; and the Madeira Festival Music, with several classical music and dance concerts in Funchal city. 5th, 12th, 19th and 26th June 2010 – Fireworks Contests. POSTER (Original link removed as incorrect – I can’t find the actual 2010 programme on line yet, so I don’t think it is available. Der).

DIÁRIO 16/02/2010


Government delays for 2 years paying 7 million Euros. Almost two years after the Regional Government made an agreement with the two banana growers cooperatives, to assume their liabilities through the formation of the management firm GESBA, the Government has not paid their creditors any money. The Government owes 7 million Euros to the former creditors of the cooperatives. Under the agreement, the transfer of this debt would only be made when the creditors were certified by the Monitoring Committee. The management of one of the cooperatives was considered illegal by the Tribunal and this has been used by the Government to refuse to pay creditors of either cooperatives. This newly formed Government management firm, GESBA, made 3.4 million Euros profit in 2009 but still the companies that previously provided services or goods to the cooperatives were not paid. The majority of all creditors to the Regional Government dare not complain for fear of reprisal and have to support more than 300,000 Euros a year in operational costs, a substantial part of their turnover. This amounts to the Regional Government owing them more than half a million Euros a year. 2008 was a good year for banana production. In 2008, GESBA had an operating profit of 606,000 Euros and had received a subsidy of 1.9 million Euros, but still owed over half a million Euros to customers and 1.1 million Euros to shareholders.

Fuel rationing in Porto Santo. A fuel shortage, irregular working hours and a lack of payment terminals requiring all transactions to be made in cash. Last weekend the main petrol station ran dry and the only other smaller one has a limited supply and is closed on Sundays. There are 4,000 vehicles on the island and an additional 200 at the weekend via the Lobo Marinho ferry link. The main petrol station running out has happened several times in recent months. It is due to a conflict between the petrol station owners and the supplier, Galp. Galp insists the firm owes money and will not provide any further supply until the debt is paid. The owners say they would be paying for fuel they might not sell, if they pay when they put in the order. The current contract ends in April and to renew it, the owners want new equipment installed so the supply of fuel can be better monitored as they say they have paid for petrol that has not been received. This investment is expensive for the size of the market.


Weather radar needed in Madeira. The President of the National Institute of Meteorology said that the Institute will try to alert the Government of the Republic to the need for a meteorological radar to be constructed in Madeira. The design would be similar to those that exist in mainland Portugal and the Azores. Although the region is already well covered by meteorological stations, each covering about 50 square kilometres, when the ones on the continent are 60 square metres, radars address other needs in the region.

Land discharged into the sea at Porto da Cruz. This is the second time a large amount of earth has been dumped into the sea in the region, authorized by the Council of  São Vicente. This debris is from the clearance of landslides and floods after the storm on February 2nd. Tens of tons of earth were bulldozed into the sea causing a large brown stain, putting the Government on a war footing with the environmentalists. The President of Porto da Cruz said it was better to dump into the sea rather than on the serras, where it might undermine property when it eventually washes down into the sea. It was necessary to clear the landslides as soon as possible as they have isolated populations. He does not see any problem with this action and the environmentalists do not say anything about the earth deposited by streams during storms. The Mayor of Machico, a former councillor for the environment, also says there is nothing wrong with dumping land into the sea, an opinion opposed by the present councillor for the environment. The environmental association Quercus says that this shows, along with other statements by the Government, that they are not sufficiently concerned about the environment or the population. The region has several sites where the land could be deposited but the authorities do what is easiest. The dumping into the sea yesterday causes problems with visual impact, destruction of the biodiversity of that area of the coast and destroys fish stocks.

Falling pine tree causes two injuries. Yesterday morning, a pine tree fell onto a car on the road between Adega and Boa Morte, in the parish of Campanário. The driver lost consciousness momentarily when the tree hit the car roof and the car crashed into a wall. When the Fire Brigade of Ribeira Brava arrived on the scene, the driver had regained consciousness and all three occupants had got out of the car. More stunned than injured, two of the victims were then transported to hospital and discharged in the afternoon.


Government takes out a new bank loan for 30.8 million Euros. The Regional Government is to take out a new bank loan for 30.8 million Euros to pay existing debt, so the Regional debt will not change as this new loan must be paid back in 5 years time. At the end of 2008 there were six loans, three to be paid over 5, 10  and 15 years, totalling 554.2 million Euros and three over 10 and 25 years, totalling 180.6 million Euros. According to the 2010 Regional Budget, the Government is allowed to take out bank loans of 230 million Euros, while the Regional Finance Law allows it to increase the debt by 50 million Euros. The Region can take out new loans to pay existing debt but the debt must not exceed 864 million Euros at the end of the year. With Portugal allowing this additional 50 million Euros loan, the direct debt at the end of the year can now reach 914 million Euros.



Notaries complain. It has been five years since the Government of the Republic allowed the privatization of the service. The notaries say the State has made unfair competition and call for a change in legislation. The formation of ‘Casa Pronta’ (where legal transactions involved when buying real estate can be done in one place) means that the notaries cannot compete on price and they form unfair competition. The notaries also cannot compete on speed, efficiency and legal certainty. The notaries want new powers, for example presiding over wedding ceremonies, providing arbitration and mediation services and debt collection.

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

Armas passengers wither for 4 hours with the dock in view – The improvement in the weather allowed the entrance of the ferry ship without the delay anticipated. But the Port had another option.

Today’s main news headline : Madeira loses 117 thousand tourist in just one year – From 2008 to 2009 there were 693 thousand less ‘dormidas’ [one occupied night in a hotel room]. Amongst other negative indicators, the highlight is the reduction in income in the considerable value of 42 million Euros. Worrying numbers, but being a bit provocative, the ‘considerable value’ is actually €3 million less than the Madeira Government are happily spending on doing up Marítimo’s football stadium, that will host a total of around 50,000 spectators … FOR THE WHOLE SEASON!

On the RTP TV news this morning there was a report on another impact of the financial crisis in Funchal … over 400 shops and restaurants etc. closed in the last 18 months.

Crisis and bad weather cool-off the ‘Trapalhão’ [Free-for-all carnival parade]. The back-end of the carnival parades yesterday, that were open to all comers, were hit by the bad weather. But for those that did turn up, politics and ‘gay marriage’ were the dominant themes this year. "When [prime minister] Sócrates has no common sense, it is the Madeirans that pay" . One of many expressions exhibited during the ‘cortejo Trapalhão in Funchal yesterday. The organiser of the parade said that if the turn-out was affected by the rain, the difference was very small. The president of the Regional Government of Madeira, Alberto João Jardim, was nearby to see numerous other ‘Uncle Bertie’s’ filing by, but he says he is not bothered by the satire based on himself, and said that "the more Albertos Joões that exist, the better". Watching the coverage on TV this morning, I did see a poster referring to the great man as ‘Uncle Bertie’, in Portuguese of course, so it is true that this blog reaches places that other blogs cannot reach.

Tobacco Law produces its first court case – The Inspection [body] fined cafes and restaurants of the Centro ‘Europa’, for having customers smoking. But the penalty is contested on the argument that the terraces are an open space, so are outside of the legislation. The judge will decide.

The main sport / football headline today : The human side of Ronaldo in documentary – TeleMadrid broadcasts tonight a TV documentary about the little known facets of Cristiano Ronaldo. Real Madrid was defeated in the first leg of the  ‘oitavos’ of the Champions League. They lost 1 – 0 to Lyon. In the Europa League, Sporting of Lisbon lost 2 –1 away at Everton last night.  If anyone is interested … the first leg of the Porto v Arsenal match in the same competition is on RTP tonight at 7.45 pm.

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. All contributions much appreciated. 

Something a bit different … any takers, please email me and I will pass on Nigel’s details :

Hi, Would you be able to print my details I am looking for a Madeira penfriend.

My name is Nigel XXXXXX I am 30 years old and I live on the North East coast of England . I am collecting postcards / covers from around the world with beautiful stamps on and as many as possible for a charity, Marie Curie Cancer Research, it is such a good charity as cancer affects everybody no matter what age, race, country, gender or religion, and would love one from your beautiful country. When I have collected a lot I will be auctioning them off for the charity. My address is SUPPLIED, in England. I would also like a penfriend and hope we can become good friends. I like sports football, surfing, walking, mountain biking and skiing, friendships, history, culture and travel and music and movies. I love writing. I am a lot of fun and single and am looking for penfriends worldwide. I hope you would like to write to me. Age and gender not important only true friendship. My email address is SUPPLIED

And finally from Tobi : "The rain didn’t hold off for the carnival in Caniço, but everyone seemed happy and I have a few photos HERE".

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.


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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.

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16 thoughts on “Carnival videos ; Fuel shortage on Porto Santo ; Dumping at Porto da Cruz ; Banana debt”

  1. Link removed, thanks Don. I have been through all the regular websites to find the 2010 programme, but no luck. I assume that it has not been issued yet, apart from the firework dates shown on the poster.

  2. Great photos of Canico Tobi, I really should have the courage to move from Garajau it is always the parking and then standing – back is much better but still cannot stand for long periods. Shouldn’t moan lot of people worse than me! Again good photos and again everyone enjoying it even though it rained.

  3. Thanks Sue, we were lucky with parking as we parked in Caniço Golden , and you know how they hate to pay for parking, especially on a bank holiday , so there were a few spaces and you get 90 mins free which was fine for me.

    You have the crazy night at the Dom Pedro coming up this Sat night , its great to see everyone turning up in the costumes…

  4. A friend and I in town with the help of the internet managed to identify who it was last night Tobi, we know where he lives, his marital status, and how many dogs he has, and his name is José. We can also guess what one of his ‘hobbies’ is!

  5. What would we do without Don Amero.

    Downloaded poster as advised but would love details of each event particularly regarding old cars.

    Where do I find the detailed activities for each day in June Please?

  6. Ah ha, so he has switched hobbies and started perving now…. lol

    No date set for your classic car rally Martin, could be another balls up like last year.
    There is a mighty fine Rolls Royce parked down our way, no nothing about it as im useless with cars, but its old and been well looked after if i see it again i will get a pic for you.

    This has to be the wettest winter on record is it ever going to stop???

    wheres Jon and Debs these days, have they slipped off to find the sun somewhere???

  7. I saw the announcement for the Radar station when we went up to Pico de Areeiro on New Year’s Day and was shocked that they are destroying the natural beauty of the mountains.
    Now to discover that this will probably wipe out a species of one of the rarest birds in the world is horrifying – surely there’s something we can do?

    Does anyone know of any petitions going around that we can all sign and get out there to the International Community?


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