Germans donate ten kennels ; The story of Empress Sisi ; 30,000 poor pensioners

Today’s photo – Many thanks to Tom …

madeira news blog 1002 tom knarled tree

Many thanks to Becky for sending in this snippet and video :

"The Jersey Football Association Capita Centre of Excellence Year-9 age group is to play four matches in Madeira next month." HERE

Many thanks to Elaine (East) for these website links :

Links with Gibraltar – Madeira Disaster Collection.  HERE

Informative blog about Madeira Wine. HERE

Many thanks to Elaine [West] for this :

SPAD receives help from a German institution. Anima – Hilfe für Tiere (Help for Animals) has donated 10 large kennels for animals. The German institution for the protection of animals ‘Anima – Hilfe für Tiere’ ( ‘Help For Animals’) has given SPAD ten large kennels that will be placed in the Vasco Gil Kennel Site.

The request for help from SPAD came just days after the storm of 20 February, when some animals were brought to the institution because they had lost both owners and their home. At the time, SPAD asked all those wishing to contribute to the work of the association to help supply plastic cages (used or new) for animals to be properly collected. The appeal reached Germany and ‘Anima’ quickly dealt with the deployment of 10 large kennels. Next Thursday, March 25, from 14.30, the kennels will be handed over. On site, a group of five volunteers will be available to unpack and prepare them so they can be finally used by SPAD.

It should be recalled that several years ago ‘Anima’ collaborated with initiatives in Madeira. Recently the German institution has financed free sterilization campaigns in Porto Santo and a number of stray animals (dogs and cats) are sent to Germany each year to homes and families that ‘Anima’ has found for them. In 2008 ‘Anima’ received a total of 28 dogs which were then sterilized and delivered to new owners. Last year various animals from Madeira were received by the them, many of them Huskies. These dogs, although pedigree animals, do not adapt to Madeira’s climate and are often abandoned.

Many thanks to Paul for this :

‘Sisi’ Elisabeth, Empress of Austria & Queen of Hungary (1837-1898) & Madeira. In the 1860’s Elisabeth was considered the world’s most beautiful monarch. In the 1870’s she became the most famous, and probably also the world’s best, female equestrian but, in 1859 left her husband and small children to live in seclusion on Madeira, Corfu, and in Venice. “The Empress had exchanged a carefree country life with the strict etiquette of the Imperial Court and could hardly adapt to it. Francis Joseph loved his wife dearly, but he ruled over an empire of 50 million people and had little time to be with "Sisi" who felt lonely. "I wish he were no emperor", she confided her former governess.”

Sisi likened to Princess Diana. “Little wonder then that following her tragic death Princess Diana was often likened in obituaries to Sisi: Both were women of extraordinary beauty and represented their countries with dignity and elegance. Both succeeded in winning a special place in people’s hearts even amidst the ceremony and protocol of ancient dynasties. Both were dedicated to social causes. And both died tragically before their time.”

Photo : Memorial of Elisabeth (Österreich-Ungarn), also named Sisi, in Funchal, Madeira closed to the Casino. At this location a hotel was located, where Sisi was on holiday.

Sisi Film & Musical. “The romantic legend of how Sisi and Franz Joseph met has been immortalized in the wonderfully romantic and melodramatic Austrian "Sisi" Films starring Romy Schneider as young Sisi. The musical "Elisabeth", which has attracted tourists from all over the world to Vienna for more than five years, is much more realistic.”

In 1998 a hundred years after she died from wounds inflicted during an assassination attempt exhibitions throughout Austria commemorated her life. They documented the intriguing life story of a woman who was an "empress against her will", who was at once fairy-tale princess and liberated woman, a dieting fanatic and expert equestrian, a poet and inveterate traveller.

Photo : Empress Elisabeth of Austria, 1864

Video compilation of the Austrian trilogy "SISSI-The Young Empress"

Sisi’s hold on the popular imagination remains undiminished. “Sisi was already a legend in her lifetime. And especially in Budapest (Hungary) many buildings or institutions are named after her, and Elisabeth is still the most often given girl name in Hungary. Even a century after her death, Sisi’s hold on the popular imagination remains undiminished. This can be seen in the popularity of Sisi films and the musical "Elisabeth", which has run for years in Vienna. The sites where the empress lived continue to draw tourists from the world over. Among these are her apartments in Schönbrunn Palace, the Hofburg, and the Hermes Villa in Vienna, her tomb in the imperial burial vault of the capital’s Capuchin Church, and the imperial villa in Bad Ischl, as well as many other places throughout Austria.” Link to full article

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

DIÁRIO 23/03/2010


PEC threatens the solvency of public enterprises. Compliance with the rules contained in the Stability and Growth Pact (PEC), which the Regional Government had no objection to, may be disastrous for the Regional accounts as the State will limit borrowing for all public sector companies. The Government of the Republic, in addition to maintaining the rule of zero net debt to the entities of the Regional and Local Administrations, unless in response to emergencies, will also constrain new financial liabilities when public companies use community funding. Thus, public companies will have lower limits for liabilities as neither Governments can risk having to input capital into these companies. Also, the higher the corporate debt, the worse the country’s external debt. According to Diário, public enterprises have increased their bank liabilities seven fold in six years. Some of these debts are to suppliers and if they cannot resort to credit, the inability to invest and make payments will worsen. Madeira’s contribution to the Portuguese deficit is zero. In 2007, Madeira had not reached the borrowing limit that the EU imposed on the State in the PEC. In 2008, Madeira made a positive contribution to the implementation of the PEC as it still had a net lending capacity of one million Euros, helping to balance the public accounts. — An expert in financial affairs commented that the reason that the 4.1 million Euros subsidy to the Jornal da Madeira stays the same as last year, is probably because no bank will lend to the company. The case is to be heard in the EU Court and if they rule the subsidy is illegal and fine the company, who pays and what happens about any debts?

30,000 pensioners below the minimum wage. Most are women on survivor’s pension of 180 Euros per month. The minimum wage for 2010 is 475 Euros. A similar petition was sent last year, with half the present number of signatures, to the Legislative Assembly of Madeira. This year, the petition will also be sent to the Assembly of the Republic as last year, the two government argued that it was each other’s responsibility.

Public Ministry accuses gang of using children in drug trafficking. A trial started yesterday in Funchal with 19 defendants, including two Italians. 16 attended the hearing, all from social housing estates in Câmara de Lobos, two will be tried in abstentia and one is on the Continent. Six defendants are in prison custody, including two Italians and two Guineans, one is electronically tagged and seven are women. The drugs were imported from Guinea, Senegal and the Netherlands via three couriers, two of them Italian and a child who was detained at Madeira Airport in October 2008 carrying 572 grams of heroin. The drugs were stored in the home of one of the defendants in Bairro da Torre, mainly for local distribution. Many of the children/families of the accused have been used to deliver/collect drugs and money. There is wiretapping evidence to support this allegation. The largest haul was in November 2008 when 12,549 individual doses of heroin (1,045 grams) were detected inside the bodies of the two Italians.The heroin was to be transferred to the Guinean who has spent five years in prison for a previous trafficking offence. The drug gang is suspected of operating from at least mid-2007 to August 2009 and the drugs brought into the country were cocaine and heroin. The Guinean is suspected to be the ringleader. Two of the defendants fabricated a construction company to try to justify the origin of the drug money. Items were seized during house searches, for example mobile phones, home-cinemas and LCDs. Large deposits into the bank accounts of the defendants, especially the ringleader, were traced between January and December 2008 (29,500 +11,570 + 41,915 Euros).


Revive the neighbourhood by planting trees. 300 school children in the county of Ribeira Brava congregated at the school at Serra de Água as part of the celebrations of World Tree Day. The best way to mark the day was to plant trees. The mayor and a school delegate planted a tree then each school followed suit. This location was chosen as it was the area most devastated by the storm, to plant a symbol of hope and to highlight the rebirth of the parish. The tree planting was followed by entertainment, games and a lunch courtesy of the municipality.

London sends 2,500 kilos of donations. The Portuguese Catholic community attending the Scalabrini Church in Oval, South London, collected 2,500 kilos of donated goods over the past three weeks. The collection was begun on the 21st February and includes infant and children’s clothing, underwear, shoes and linens. During the Masses, 1,500 pounds sterling was collected and the amount was made up to 1,800 pounds from church funds to send the 100 boxes to Madeira. It would normally cost 5,000 pounds to send the container but for the generosity of the haulage firm C. R. Trans/Service, where a Portuguese immigrant works. The container left England last week and arrives in Madeira within a week. It will be forwarded to the Association for Community Development in Funchal/Community Centre of Santo Amaro.

New marine protected areas. Several proposals for the establishment of marine protected areas in waters beyond national jurisdiction will be discussed informally between today and Thursday in Funchal. Attending will be representatives from six countries that signed up to the OSPAR Convention (Germany, France, UK, Netherlands, Spain and Portugal), and NGOs such as the Worldwide Fund for Wildlife, Northeast Atlantic Ocean Fisheries Commission, International Union for the Conservation of Nature and the Institution for Conservation of Marine Biology.


Demolition of the Savoy Hotel is ahead of deadline. The demolition of the Savoy Hotel started in January with a deadline of ten months. The main building is already in ruins and the reception area, gardens, shopping area and car parks are unrecognizable. This is despite the effects of the storms in February. Demolition by implosion was ruled out and the work has to comply with noise and environmental laws. A significant amount of the material will be reused. The firm responsible for the demolition and building of the new hotel is CASAIS. The project architect João Francisco Caires said the new hotel will include classical and traditional Madeiran architecture in proximity to English colonial architecture. The entire project is scheduled to take 36 months at an estimated 120 million Euros. Completion is aimed to be in time for the New Year’s Eve celebrations in 2012.


Tough measures to prevent exploitation. The Regional Government has decided to submit to the Legislative Assembly a proposed law to ensure all entities benefit, and to prevent exploitation of funds for the renovation of Madeira. Careful prioritization will help people and areas affected by the storm and to avoid duplication, the Government will find out who has benefited from other mechanisms such as insurance. The final relocation is underway and 400 new homes are needed and another 400 require renovation. At present, 53 families are still in public establishments, a situation the Executive wants resolving before Easter. The government said any aggregates that are being collected are authorized. The Marine Police is monitoring the situation and has found one case of illegal dumping of flood deposits at the mouth of the stream at Madelena do Mar.


Santa Cruz is still the City of Culture. It was previously reported that Santa Cruz Council had given up the project City of Culture 2010 as it had to redirect finances to storm damage repair work. The council now ensures that the project will go ahead with updates to the cultural program. The mayor has met Rui Massena, the conductor of the OCM, about the possibility of the classical orchestra opening the program but cannot confirm if this will occur. The county has the advantage that the mayor, José Alberto Gonçalves, is the president of the Madeira Classic Foundation that manages the OCM.



Gaia calls to Porto to help Madeira. The municipalities of Funchal and Gaia will launch a series of meetings before Easter with businesses in Porto to obtain building materials and furniture for 291 houses. The Vice-mayor of Gaia is impressed with the recovery effort in Funchal and will appeal to businesses in the region of Porto where there is a tradition of furniture manufacture. These 291 houses are outside the risk area and are partially damaged. Other councils in Portugal have pledged help, for example 100,000 Euros from Amadora.

Coração da Madeira helps Serra d’Água. Now this voluntary organization has finished its work in RG3, the volunteers went to Serra d’Água with 74 boxes of donated clothing collected at the church at Nazaré over the past month. In partnership with the English Church, the volunteers will begin to distribute bed linen and clothing to various locations of need.


Two vehicles seized. Since the beginning of the year, there have been four cases of illegal dumping in the serras of Madeira. Last week, a Forest Ranger found two private cars were being used to dump material in Campanário, which came from the excavations for a house. The two cars have been seized as evidence and the case has been reported to the Directorate for the Environment. To recover the cars, the owners will have to first pay the fine for the breach. For dumping light material, fines for private individuals range from 1,500 – 3,740 Euros and for firms from 7,500 – 44,890 Euros. For heavier more damaging material, fines range from 25,000 – 37,500 Euros and for a firm, can go up to 60,000 Euros.

Guides and tourists still use footpaths. The Regional Directorate of Forestry is concerned about the number of people still walking along pedestrian paths despite the warnings, often encouraged by guides. Examples are the Caldeirão Verde and the Boca da Corrida/Encumeada. Eight pathways are closed at present: PR 7 Levada do Moínho (Ribeira da Cruz – Lamaceiros); PR 09 Levada do Caldeirão Verde (Queimadas – Caldeirão Verde), PR 10 Levada do Furado (Ribeiro Frio – Lamaceiros – Portela); PR 12 Caminho Real da Encumeada (Boca da Corrida – Encumeada); PR 14 Levada dos Cedros (Fanal – Curral Falso); PR 16 Levada da Fajã do Rodrigues (Fajã da Ama – Ribeira do Inferno); PR 17 Caminho do Pináculo e Folhadal (Lombo do Mouro – Caramulo – Folhadal – Encumeada); PR 18 Levada do Rei (Quebradas – Ribeiro Bonito); Levada do Norte and Levada dos Tornos.


Mercado de Oportunidades from 25 – 31 March. The erection of 51 tents on the Avenida Arriaga started yesterday. The Opportunities Market is for the selling of old stock at discounted prices, specifically shoes, decorations, clothing, jewellery, domestic electrical appliances, linen, crafts, toys and perfume. Opening hours will be 10.00 – 20.00. The demand has exceeded supply, 80 traders expressing interest but only 60 can participate, so the remaining 20 have places reserved in the second phase in the second half of the year. There will be eight cruise ships in port during this period, especially on the 31st when there will be five.

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

ERC wants to know more names for RTP-Madeira TV – The regulatory entity says it has asked more explanations. RTP received nothing. And already three weeks have passed.

Today’s main news headline : Bureaucracy ties-up traders – The owners of shops badly hit by the storms of February are "fragile, frail and living in financial difficulties because the financial support is delayed in coming". The words are from Lino Abreu, from the Association of Commerce and Services, in disagreement with the excessive ‘red tape’. Whilst waiting for support, traders are just having to do what they can to recuperate what they lost, and are feeling pretty let down because the route to obtain support is complex and long-winded. Abreu says that some traders are so deflated by what has gone on, he fears that they will opt to close down rather than try and reopen their businesses. He says the process needs to be simplified because the traders need support right now. They need to provide strict evidence for their losses, and some of the documentation needed takes a long time to obtain.

Fountains of João Dinis return to see the light of day – The post-storm clean up has returned to view the old fountains, buried 70 years ago during works in the zone of the Palácio. They are going to return to provide drinking water and maybe inspire some old political jibes.

The Government is going to construct 25 homes in Ribeira Brava – The houses will be built in different communities. According to the Housing Association of Madeira [IHM] housing is still lacking for 17 families in the area, made homeless after the floods. IHM already have two or three locations in mind and is out and about looking for more land to built premises that will house several families. The decision to spread the housing is being taken to minimise the impact of the construction work, and also because there is a shortage of land with sufficient capacity for everything. 17 families still live in temporary accommodation, around 40 people. 

SITAM denounces late payment of salaries – The trade union met with the Regional Secretary for Human Resources. Due to the storm on 20 February, there are people who have still not received their salary from February.

Solidarity parade on the eve of the Flower Festival. Madeira’s favourite fashion designer, Fátima Lopes, is organising the event to take place on 17th April, in conjunction with Funchal Council. "I am preparing a solidarity event in April, that will revert to those who need it most," said Fátima. "It will be a big fashion show, open to everyone, with mannequins of the Face Models and many national public figures".

The main sport / football headline today : União SAD ‘half way there’ [?] – Jaime Lucas hopes that the ‘Ruben Micael case’ works out well.

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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6 thoughts on “Germans donate ten kennels ; The story of Empress Sisi ; 30,000 poor pensioners”

  1. Bill, u are qwite wright. senility have arrrived.
    Only 4 months have passed in Cockermouth whereas Madeira took 4 hours to start the clean-up.
    If that.
    What a contrast.
    J G England’s scheme has great merit.
    President Bertie is dynamic and thinks only (mainly) of his electorate, how to screw cash out of the EC, he doesn’t mind a photo or two of his achievements.
    He seems to have several achievements daily.
    Ford Anglians would welcome some achievements.
    Der probably has a few pithy comments to add.
    Our lot can’t list any achievements only to pay the council leader over £250.000 per annum, an improvement from her previous role where she was levered out.
    Bertie’s Portuguese would be a lot more understandable to Anglians than Quango Jargon.
    Frequently our parish council has to request a translation for government missives.
    We have a growing and dynamic Portuguese/Madeiran population in Ford Anglia.
    Our cake shops are improving no end.
    Council leaflets now carry the following message.
    “Se pretende este folheto noutro idioma, por favor contacte-nos no numero de telefone ou E-mail supracitados.”
    Which is clearer to me than Quango Jargon.
    Madeira rules OK?

  2. Budget day today in UK Most likely be again none event before elections. Martin yes I have to agree with you, I saw on Country File about farm land in Cockermouth famers not helped enough by the Goverment. One farmer said it going to cost £90k to sort his land out, though council picked rubbish that come down the river.

  3. Hello everyone

    I have had an email this morning from a school in the USA that have raised over 1000 dollars for the Madeira Flood fund, but have asked if there is an appeal for the money to be sent directly to families or a school who need the money directly rather than the funds being sunk into the pot at Banif.
    Can any body help with any suggestions or have any contacts?
    Please let me know by emailing me at [email protected] (sorry Der, hope you don’t mind).

  4. The case of the dog left alone in a flat at Garajau is now in the hands of the Police, who are trying to trace its owners to interview them. The English visitors, who are staying in the house next door to the dog, are leaving Madeira this Friday. SPAD has been informed. The visitors made their complaint at Santa Cruz Police Station.

  5. Oh thats good news Sheila, i hope the police come down on them hard, but doubt it somehow, the police cant be bothered with anything it seems, to much paperwork makes to much work.


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