Regional Finance Law approved ; €50k for Haiti ; Festa dos Compadres ; Flour Revolt

Today’s photo – Many thanks to Elaine out West … Dried herbs and chillies on sale in Funchal Market

madeira news blog 1001 elaine W dried herbs and chillies on sale in Funchal Market 2

"Toward the end of last year, a delegation of top producers from Madeira – Blandy’s, Henriques & Henriques, Justino’s, Barbeito and Borges – paid a visit to Prague. … Vintage Madeira is a seemingly ageless creation, very much a case of "the older, the better," as attested to by such connoisseurs as the legendary Madeira Club in Savannah, Georgia. ANOTHER ONE OF THOSE MADEIRA WINE ARTICLES

"The Isaiah Davenport House Museum will uncork an affable taste of early Americana this month as it hosts "Potable Gold: Savannah’s Madeira Tradition" during a special series of programs. Offered to the public only on Friday and Saturday evenings in February, "Potable Gold" involves sampling two types of Madeira wine and allows participants to experience the circa-1820 house at dusk, after the usual visiting hours, said museum Director Jamie Credle". AND ANOTHER

There’s a free album download offer on this website, but it’s limited to 15,000 so don’t hang about :  OFFER

We’re back to the minnows in this weekends football fixtures. On Sunday Nacional goes to Olhanense for a 3 pm kick-off. An hour later Marítimo host União. Neither game is televised.

If one could go around not knowing having seen the latest news, the Regional Finance Law amendments were approved in Lisbon yesterday, even with the Socialist government voting against it … "Portuguese lawmakers approved a regional finance law Friday that could add to the budget deficit at a time when investors are growing increasingly concerned about the state of Portuguese public finances.  Opposition lawmakers pushed through the legislation against the votes of the ruling Socialist Party, which currently form a minority government". EVEN THE WALL STREET JOURNAL COVERED IT 

And on the same subject, this article evaluates the impact of the decision MARKETWATCH

Many thanks to Elaine once again for yesterday’s top news stories :

DIÁRIO 05/02/2010

Residence at risk of falling down the hillside. A house in Larano in Porto da Cruz is at risk of falling down the slope on which it was built due to landslides caused by recent rains. The foundations are now visible and the cement has cracked so part of a small wall has collapsed. The owners are unaware of the situation as the house is only inhabited at weekends and there is still furniture left outside. Neither the local council or fire department were aware of this situation.

More than 50,000 Euros for Haiti. Between 18 January and 4 February, the Diocese of Funchal collected over 50,000 Euros to help the earthquake victims. A Mass in Cabo Girão received 10,264 Euros, Caritas collected 680 Euros, the Igreja do Colégio collected 2,000 Euros and the School at Curral das Freiras raised 1,150 Euros.

TAP extends its network to destinations in Africa. TAP will have three flights a week from Lisbon to Morocco. Its passenger numbers in the African sector have increased 129% since 2001. It is the only sector in 2009 where there was growth. With this new route in June, there will be connections to eight countries in Africa from Portugal. begins regular flights to Madeira on May 3rd. Low-cost company sells Manchester – Madeira flights for 260 Euros round trip. already flies from Faro to two cities in the United Kingdom. According to the British press last week, this new route might benefit the British who have accommodation on the island (second home or timeshare). Trips are sold on the website at base prices of around 100 Euros. The return price reaches around 300 Euros because in addition to fees, charge separately for the carriage of luggage, check-in, choice of seating, meals and insurance. jet2 website


Three houses in danger. At least three dwellings are at risk of being swept away by slippage of earth at Serra Velha de Baixo in Curral das Freiras, near the Ribeira dos Socorridos. The families have been advised to leave their homes. The council agree that a wall is needed to support the earth which cannot hold the amount of water flooding onto it.

Car and warehouse destroyed. In Corujeira de Dentro in Monte. Both the car and warehouse were destroyed by debris swept down onto the road by flooding. The car owner has difficulties feeding his animals (dogs, chickens and rabbits) as road access is blocked by the landslide. Initially, residents at the other end of the road were isolated until the council made the road minimally passable. The land that collapsed is privately owned so the council have refused to help the residents.

Festa dos Compadres. This is a tradition specific to Santana. It is patently ironic, sarcastic and has a lot of social criticism. The compadres are made in secret and are effigies of social figures. On Saturday 6 February at 17.00, there is the cortejo folião with nearly a dozen groups from schools, followed by music starting at 18.30 on a stage erected in front of the council building. Next to this building, a tent has been set up where there will be a ball of ‘Comadre e do Compadre’ at 22.00, 3 Euros entrance fee. The main parade is on Sunday 7 February, starting at 16.00. The public judgement of the compradres occurs at 17.45, ‘sentencing of the compradres’. Awards presented at 19.00 for the best floats and troupes followed by musical entertainment from 19.30 to 22.00. The final day of the festa is Thursday February 11th, starting with fireworks at 12.00 and the traditional event ‘Os compadres passeiam a camadre’ occurs at 20.00. The council hope the festa will help the economy of Santana by bringing in tourists and raise the spirits of the population, needed after the area has been battered by storms. Program on Santana Council website

‘Revolt of the Flour’ was 79 years ago. On February 4 1931, the islanders rebelled in a movement that became known as the  ‘Revolt of the Flour’. On 26 January 1931, a law was passed that monopolized milling and was known as the ‘Decree of Hunger’. This ended free wheat and flour imports, handing the monopoly to a group of millers. The riots spread and lasted until the 9th February. The Companhia Insular de Moinhos was targeted and on the 6 February, an assault on the firm left five dead and many injured. The law was repealed but the island suffered reprisals by the central government sending armed forces to make arrests and deportations. The climate of terror and instability lasted until the ‘Revolt of Madeira’ on April 4th against the dictator Oliviera Salazar. On April 11th, the ‘Revolting Movement’ installed a democratic government in Madeira but this succumbed to the dictatorship’s military offensive on 2 May.


Fábrica dos Sonhos [Dream Factory] reveal secrets of the sea. There are about 150 members in this troupe which is known for originality. They will represent marine animals; jellyfish, mermaids, starfish and crabs. The mermaids and jellyfish are the leading figures. The Veterans are dressed as fish and the procession will be a sea of colour incorporating silver and blue. A group of Hot Dancers open their parade and a group of ‘fish’ close it. The dancers rehearse at the Rua das Pretas, no 16.

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

25 years of gastronomy – Machico brings Mariza. The silver jubilee of the Machico Gastronomy Fair this year will be graced by top (living) fado singer Mariza, on 4th August. The visit will form part of her tour ‘Terra’, which is the title of her new album, and includes performances in Egypt and the Royal Albert Hall in London. So it looks like Machico has all the money then! It’s definitely a great idea to pull in the punters to the fair, but whether they will be spending their money on ‘gastronomy’ or not we will have to wait and see.

Law approved yesterday doesn’t bring any money – The alterations to the controversial Regional Finance Law were passed. Without dividends. The defeated socialist government will do everything in it’s power to stop the application of the law, starting with a constitutional challenge. The defeat was substantial, with 87 socialists voting against, and all the opposition and one socialist (França of Madeira) voting in favour, 126 in total. You would have thought that this was the big story of the day, the week, and even the year, but the Diário editor thought not, giving it just a corner of the front page. Surely nothing to do the fact that Uncle Bertie actually succeeded in his quest to change the LFR. I wonder what the other loopaper newspaper, the Jornal da Madeira, has plastered all over it’s front page?

Today’s main news headline : 2008 bill : bad debts cost €23 million just in interest. The problem arose from the delays in payments of debts by the Regional Government, the majority of which were to contractors that had responsibility for the execution of public works.

Lagoon continues not to generate earnings – The reservoir of Santo da Serra never reciprocated to the €4 million investment, 30 years ago. But there are new works in May. With a reduction in capacity. 



The main sport / football headline today : Final effort of Madeira in order to bring World Cup teams – Covilhã chosen, it remains to hope that Portugal undertakes training here in the last few days. And only if the the political environment were to help. The series points also to other squads. Not sure I got that last bit 100% correct, but anyway the main picture of the day shows a nice overhead view of the Sports Stadium of Madeira, at the back end of Ribeira Brava. If it is being suggested that that is the venue to attract national teams to warm up for the World Cup in South Africa in June, then it’s a good choice. But they will need to get the cleaners in first I would imagine, as it has hardly been used since it was completed, and must be full of cobwebs by now. A study group, made up anonymous Madeiran citizens with various backgrounds, has concluded that our island is the perfect place for preparation for teams competing in the competition. That group has persuaded an otherwise apathetic Regional Government to support a project called ‘Mundial 2010, pré-estágios das selecções apuradas para a Fase Final – Opção Ilha da Madeira’, which forgetting the first part is putting forward Madeira as an ideal training option. One interesting selling angle, is that Madeira has the identical climate and humidity as South Africa, and is geographically actually a part of Africa, but has the safety aspects of being European. The locations put forward are in Ribeira Brava and Camacha, as well as the two football stadium complexes of Marítimo and Nacional. I reckon the teams that qualified some months ago will have probably already booked up long ago their preparatory destinations, but we might pull something off with a bit of luck, and maybe even have the chance to ‘knobble’ the opposition before June.

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. 

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7 thoughts on “Regional Finance Law approved ; €50k for Haiti ; Festa dos Compadres ; Flour Revolt”

  1. Lots have been wriiten about the dictator Franco but liitle is known outside Portugal about Salazar.
    In the late sixties and up to the revolution I remember the Potuguese police and their intimidating manner.
    It was obvious to any visitor that the slightest dissent amongst the Portuguses would cause pain.
    Thuggish regimes are thankfully reduced in Europe.
    The current British government though does its best to hamstring its native born residents.
    Nearly a dictatorship, especially under Bliar.
    Elections soon–Hooray!

  2. I hope in the light of so many houses being left in a precarious state due to their foundations being exposed by the floods their insurance company helps with reinstement.
    What if i wonder the entire plot of land is washed away? Will the insurance co. pay for relocation?

  3. House insurance Martin … that would be a novelty!

    Many if not most homeowners wouldn’t waste their precious money on the premium, although I believe the banks lending for mortgages now insist on it.

  4. Portugal and Madeira’s finances look grim now that the government has the go ahead to borrow even more money.
    Political moves were more important than the long term financial health of the country

    Oh Dear!

  5. I’m looking to start a food blog and i would like for my friends to be able to log on and comment through their facebook accounts so they don’t need to make an account on the chosen blogging site to comment. What are some FREE blogging sites that allow you to use your facebook to comment?.


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