Madeira’s NEW National Park in Porto Santo; The EU LIFE Project in Madeira ; EU Commission confirms €500m “Slip” in the public accounts for Madeira; Portuguese Government suggest Rescue Plan for Madeira’s Public Accounts;

Portugal and Madeira News from Paul Abbiati:

The EU LIFE Project in Madeira Region

From the official website of The EU LIFE Project in Madeira Region

“Halt the loss of European Biodiversity through the recovery of habitats and species of the Islets of Porto Santo and surrounding marine area” – LIFE Ilhéus do Porto Santo.

The Porto Santo National Park – Reserva Natural – is the newest of Madeira Region’s National Parks

This Project was proposed by the Madeira Natural Park (SPNM) as a coordinating beneficiary and The Society for the Study of Birds (SPEA) as an associated beneficiary and has a financial contribution from the Life+ Nature Programme of the European Community.

The Project will take place in six small islets around Porto Santo Island (Madeira Archipelago) belonging to the Natura 2000 Network site “Ilhéus do Porto Santo”.

The total surface area of the Project is around 232 hectares. 45 different actions will be implemented to recover the habitats (Vegetated sea cliffs with endemic flora of the Macaronesian coasts) and the protected species.

images from Diario Newspaper

Image caption for image above: workers including Park Wardens and Visitors at the NEW National Park in August 2011.

link to official site

EU Commission confirms €500m “Slip” in the public accounts for Madeira

From The Wall Street Journal

“BRUSSELS (Dow Jones)–The European Commission said Wednesday that problems in the Portuguese autonomous region of Madeira caused a EUR500 million hole in the country’s budget, equivalent to 0.3% of gross domestic product.

The extra spending included EUR277 million in expenditure for a financially troubled regionally-owned enterprise plus the cost of an aborted joint public-private partnership contract, a commission spokesman said.

“These operations, for a total of EUR500 million, which is equivalent to 0.3% of GDP, are recorded as expenditure-increasing operations in the general government accounts,” said Amadeu Altafaj-Tardio, spokesman for European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Olli Rehn.

He said these fiscal “slippages call for a streamlined monitoring, recording and management” of regional and local government accounts to “contain fiscal risks.”

Alberto Joao Jardim, the governor of Madeira who is running for re-election in October, has said the region–that sits in the northern Atlantic Ocean–is facing a liquidity problem, and needs money to cover financial obligations.

He said further details will be made available in mid-to-late September when the latest review of Portugal’s bailout program is released…”

In May, the EU and the International Monetary Fund agreed a EUR78 billion bailout for Portugal.

Portuguese Government on Wednesday suggested a Rescue Plan for Madeira’s Public Accounts

image from Diario

Title of image: Ministro das Finanças Vítor Gaspar

7 thoughts on “Madeira’s NEW National Park in Porto Santo; The EU LIFE Project in Madeira ; EU Commission confirms €500m “Slip” in the public accounts for Madeira; Portuguese Government suggest Rescue Plan for Madeira’s Public Accounts;”

  1. Guide: How to order the right coffee in Portugal
    Ordering coffee in Portugal can be quite a task. As it comes in all different shapes and sizes and is referred to in each region by a different local name it is a tricky business. You might realise all too late you have ordered the wrong thing in the first place. Here at PDV we are only too aware of the pitfalls of Portuguese café jargon and have thus compiled this small guide to help you out in your coffee savouring pursuits.

    Coffee and Portugal somehow seem to go hand-in-hand. It is served anywhere and any time and you will find it is part of a daily ritual for the majority of the population.

    The Portuguese drink, on average, three to four kilos of coffee each year. That is per person, if you are wondering. Compared to someone who lives in northern Europe who might drink 13 to 14 kilos per year, it doesn’t really sound like much. People here seem to focus more on quality instead of quantity. That and the fact that they drink it very strong. You wouldn’t last long on 14 kg of strong coffee per year.

    And yet, when it comes down to the simple task of placing your order at a café or restaurant, you might feel daunted by the prospect ahead of you. There is no shortage of variety. You’ll definitely need to know what to ask for beforehand. For those coming from countries that serve weaker coffee, the first sip of a typical and ubiquitously served black espresso may prove an unwanted challenge. If you are American you might be expecting weaker, diluted coffee served in a large cup; if a Spaniard, you’ll be wanting a coffee with milk, but if you are Italian, the espresso should be shorter … Yet, there is no reason to despair. You can get all of the above and even other varieties, such as simple coffee, coffee with milk in a small cup, coffee with milk in a large cup or even served in a glass. You can also have coffee served with a dash of brandy, a long black with a spot of milk, a double black, a three-quarter black, a flat white … well, you get the picture.

    Sounds confusing? We’ll guide you through the works


    A ‘café’ (the drink, not the establishment), which you may know as an espresso, or a short black is a black shot of coffee served in a demitasse cup. Portuguese do not use the word espresso and depending on the city, it is ordered under different names. In Lisbon it is commonly referred to as a ‘bica’ (spout in English), because the coffee machine has a spout at the end from where the coffee comes out. There is also a story that tells us that in “A Brasileira”, one of Lisbon’s oldest and trendiest cafés, they had a sign that said: “Beba Isto Com Açúcar”, meaning “Drink This With Sugar”, and the acronym reads as BICA. In Oporto, asking for a ‘cimbalino’ is the same as asking for a ‘café’. The name comes from the brand of a popular espresso machine, La Cimbali. In either place, though, anyone will understand you if you ask for a ‘café’, and this is also true for the rest of the country, where an espresso is always served when you ask for a ‘café’.

    Yet, this is not all. A ‘café’ can be made to measure: it can be cheio (full), três-quartos (3/4 full) or curto (short).

    ItalianaItaliana is the name for a very short shot of espresso, what might be known as a ristretto in other countries: the first shot of coffee of the machine. It comes as short and as strong as it is served in Rome.

    CariocaIn Brazil, this is the name for someone who lives in Rio de Janeiro. In Portugal, it means a very weak espresso: it is the second shot of the last espresso the machine has served.


    This is a long and weak coffee served in a medium cup, like a tea cup, that may be interesting for those who like American coffee.

    Café pingadoAn espresso with a drop of milk.


    Garoto is Portuguese for “little boy”, and it’s an espresso with milk in a small cup. It is thus called because it used to be served to boys before they could drink a regular coffee.

    Meia de leite

    This is a medium cup of coffee with milk (half milk, half coffee). The size of the cup is the same as the abatanado. It literally means “half (cup) of milk”.


    A tall glass with black coffee and 3/4 milk, similar to a latte. It is served very hot and can burn your fingers when you are trying to hold it.

  2. the 500€ million ‘hole’ is a joke and a lie. There has been a cover up for years, and the intention was/is to continue to deceive the Madeiran people at least until after the elections in October.

    Estimates have been banded around in the press for a long time, and the highest estimate I have seen (albeit over a year ago) was over 4€ billion, or in more digestible terms 16,000€ for every man, woman and child on the island. Big companies are going bankrupt becasue the government can’t pay their enormous and numerous debts, others can’t pay their employees / suppliers. The pharmacies are just one example. Banks are more and more reluctant, even under threats from Jardim, to bail out the GR and the Troika has also implemented borrowing restrictions in this respect.

    Watch the new revelations and the impacts on Portugal over the coming months, and watch Jardim and the PSD get elected again in the meantime, as the stupid mentality of voting for favorites and not politics, and high abstention, virtually guarantee an overall (albeit reduced) majority for the PSD.

  3. Saw Bertie strolling along the beach (with his many minders) at Porto Santo last Tuesday ……. no doubt he will “pop back” to Madeira to open many “impressive” (completed?) projects before the elections ……. we’ve got a super ultra expensive new road in Gaula that goes …. nowhere – although rumour has it that one of his drivers has a new house at the end of it! Indeed, the Island can no longer sustain Berties self(ish) imposed debt burden and hidden deficits due to “private” and secret deals, laden with brown envelopes – and it’s no good burying ones head in the sand at Porto Santo!

    On a lighter note, on our recent travels we have “discovered” the Deserta Islands at first hand – incredible! Met the Park Rangers, had a little tour including a briefing on their efforts to protect/recover the environment and re establish safe breeding grounds for the monk seal, birds various and plant life – all endangered but now recovering……ALL GOOD stuff and a world away from Bertie. Did I forget to mention the “rough toothed” Dolphins that accompanied and entertained us on our choppy, bracing and blooming marvellous crossing – wow! To be done again and highly recommend …… Ventura do Mar indeed!

  4. Jon
    Desertas and Ventura do Mar company

    I am happy you enjoyed the Desertas…i try to go once a year….for me the most natural beauty is under the sea…I snorkle and see perhaps 10 species of fish other marine life in 10 minutes…and great learning form the wardens

    I call it Bird Island – stayed one night and the bird noise is incredible and of course no human lights damaging the environment..

    Ventura do Mar: have sailed with them several times…very warm, very professional, scientific…yes recommend them

  5. Thanks abbo – we will certainly go again with “Ventura” = relaxed, welcoming, professional and informative indeed. “Georges” was our skipper and Rachel our Biologist, lovely people. We have spent this morning “coffee time” gazing out over the calm waters towards the Desertas – they beckon us always! AND we have been watching a Brides Whale lazing along, blowing and diving off the coast below us – amazing!

  6. I know the pitfalls can can befall you when ordering a coffee in Madeira.
    Using my best Portuguese in a cafe at Sao Vincente, I ordered “Dos chinos por favore”.
    There seemed to be an unusually long delay in fulfilling the order by a charming hostess.
    I was surprised but quite delighted to discover I had ordered two freshly squeezed orange juices.
    I had better results jusy lazily ordering in English
    The coffee in Madeira is excellent as is the orange juice.


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