Marco Freitas: Gold and Bronze medals European Table Tennis Championships; Madeira flights News; Cleaner and better transport in Funchal; CIVITAS FORUM CONFERENCE 2011: 17-19 October, 2011; Segway; Football: Benfica ‘Gold Rush’; Portugal’s 2012 Budget;

Portugal and Madeira News from Paul Abbiati:

Portugal’s 2012 Budget

The Portuguese press on Tuesday is still focussing on the 2012 state budget.

Detail on Portugal Daily review:

Benfica “Gold rush”

‘A Bola’- the daily national Sports Newspaper writes

“Gold rush” about this Tuesday’s match between Benfica and Basel. The newspaper says that Benfica is determined to win in order to head its group and earn €11m.

Marco Freitas: European Table Tennis Champion

Madeiran Table Tennis Professional Marcos Freitas and the Croatian Andrej Gacna are the winners of the Men’s Doubles in the European Championships 2011. Last Saturday 15th October they beat in the final the pair from Russia Alexander Shibaev and Kirill Skachkov 4:0 in Gdansk, Poland.

Marcos Freitas/Andrej Gacina vs. Alexander Shibaev/Kirill SSkachkov 4:0 (11-3, 11-8, 11-7, 12-10)

This was the the second medal for Portugal in these European Championships, after Marco won the bronze medal in the team event. The Portuguese Team was Marco Freitas along with Tiago Apolónia and João Monteiro.


Cleaner and better transport in Funchal

CIVITAS FORUM CONFERENCE 2011: 17-19 October, 2011

“The CIVITAS Forum 2011 will balance an exchange of dialogue and views between city and European politicians on the one hand, and experts in the field of urban mobility on the other.

The conference will be the 9th such annual event, following fora previously hosted in various quarters of Europe including Malmö, Krakow, Bologna, Kaunas, Burgos, Nantes, Rotterdam and Graz since the series started in 2003. The CIVITAS Forum Network currently includes 205 cities from 31 European countries, that have formally committed to clean and sustainable urban transport..”


“The city of Funchal is both an unusual and ideal location for the Forum, thanks to its specific geographical characteristics as one of the European Union’s outermost regions. Located 800km west of the coast of Morocco in the North Atlantic Ocean, it is deemed one of the most beautiful natural amphitheatres of the world. It thrives as a major tourist town yet is significantly challenged in offering viable transport solutions because of its hilly terrain…”


The City of Funchal looks forward to welcoming participants of the Forum Conference and demonstrating and discussing its own and others’ successes in the field of urban transport policy.



The CIVITAS Initiative

“The CIVITAS Initiative (“City-Vitality-Sustainability”, or “Cleaner and Better Transport in Cities”) was launched in 2002. Its fundamental aim is to support cities to introduce ambitious transport measures and policies towards sustainable urban mobility. The goal of CIVITAS is to achieve a significant shift in the modal split towards sustainable transport, an objective reached through encouraging both innovative technology and policy-based strategies.”


For more information on the Conference including documents and the draft agenda see the official site:

Madeira flights News

Q&A on Independent Newspaper site:

Q: Why do Madeira flights require an early check-in?

The Answer includes:

The most convenient outbound option is TAP Portugal’s daily early afternoon departure from Gatwick to Funchal (pictured above). Coming home, there is an equally appealing noon take-off from the island, arriving mid-afternoon at Gatwick. The timings are perfect for connecting journeys.

October: TAP Portugal EARLY daily flights from London Heathrow

From the end of October, TAP Portugal will still have daily flights from London – but from Heathrow, at uncomfortable times. The outbound departure is one of the first of the day, at 6.40am, and the inbound one of the last of the day, at 10.05pm.

EasyJet continues to fly from Gatwick early

While easyJet continues to fly from Gatwick, its four departures a week each take off at 8.05am or earlier, again way too early for connections.

The other option is to fly via Lisbon or Oporto, but it makes the journey slow and expensive.


27 thoughts on “Marco Freitas: Gold and Bronze medals European Table Tennis Championships; Madeira flights News; Cleaner and better transport in Funchal; CIVITAS FORUM CONFERENCE 2011: 17-19 October, 2011; Segway; Football: Benfica ‘Gold Rush’; Portugal’s 2012 Budget;”

  1. 2012 state budget: who foots the bill in one drop

    According to the newspaper, households will be paying €6.259bn, banks €655m, and cuts to the state €3.255bn. Público adds that the Portuguese will be losing 5% of their income in 2012.
    Just look how much banks pay compare to the rest

    «Former politicians’ life pensions free from budgetary cuts», says Diário de Notícias.
    The daily writes that the pensions of former government officials will be spared from austerity cuts, while the salaries of public servants and the monthly allowances of pensioners above €1,000 will suffer the lion’s share of sacrifices during the next two years.
    specific measures included in the document, such as the hikes in car taxes and transport fares, and the rise of VAT on bottled water to 13%.
    «Take a pill: here comes the depression», writes i. The newspaper’s front page includes the main keywords used over the last few days: “recession”, “unemployment”, “VAT”, “income tax”, “company tax”, “property tax” and “taxes on tobacco, cars, and income”.
    «Three million people affected by cuts to holiday and Christmas bonuses», writes financial daily Diário Económico. The scrapping of both bonuses will hit 550,000 central administration workers and about 2.5 million pensioners. Diário Económico adds that households are due to pay 75% of the public spending cost-cutting efforts.
    «Colossal», is how Jornal de Negócios describes the new 2012 state budget. The newspaper also quotes the finance minister, who justified the decision of placing the brunt of the austerity measures on public servants and pensioners.
    so who is f…..d up only poor people and middle class the top is untouchable

  2. admin one post has been removed why no offencive words were there????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

    The state budget was outlined assuming that global economic growth will be of 4.0% both in 2011 and 2012 and forecasting that exports‘ growth will slow to 5.4% this year and to 4.8% next year. The Portuguese government also assumes that oil will trade around US$111.7 and US$108.6 per barrel in 2011 and 2012, respectively and that the EUR-USD exchange rate will be of 1.40 and 1.39 on average this year and the next.
    assuming…. but the assumption is unrealistic means all sacrifises today are lost case and will lead to black swan

  3. vic,

    Meo does provide BBC entertainment its in the 65 euro a month deal but after Dec rises to 74 month, but as t.v and net are fibra optic the system is a lot quicker unlike Zon. The deal is telephone/TV/ internet

    I only know this as friends have just changed from Zon to Meo, free calls to uk between 9pm and 9 am ,

  4. Fibra only available in Funchal ,the lad told me.

    75 channels + sports+internet at 24 mbs +phone= 75 euros from Jan(3.40 euro for HD box)

    not really any diff with what i pay ZON

  5. Thank you Peter ,I know I get free calls with zon, never had any problems but the past month, the connections have been like a snail on valium, and the t.v freezes at times, the engineer who came said “t.v effected if someone near is using a drill or power tool” which I can understand, the net is slow due to the band width it is most effected between 9pm and 12midnight and weekends, I was told that theses are the popular time’s and day’s most are downloading music & films & games so the band gets stretched.

    Anyway that is why friends have changed and got this package two weeks ago from meo, I will just keep going with Zon, most of the time they are quick to respond and helpful, they dont have fibra optic only TV, meo have it all the engineer said.

  6. I am already a victim of TAP losing the Gatwick option as my wife and I are due to come out on the 10th Jan. It was from this excellent blog I first became aware of the change and let my travel agent know.

    We usually get a taxi to Gatwick but Heathrow is more than twice the distance away so with such an early flight and no guarantee about the weather we have had to book overnight at the Holiday Expresss Inn. On our return 3 weeks later a 2230 arrival will cause us more complication. Easy Jet do not fly from Gatwick on Tuesdays and we have always enjoyed our experience with TAP. The only consolation is extra time in Madeira.

    Does anyone know who or if anyone is up for buying TAP and the implications for the future

  7. From the BBC news

    MPs to vote on call for referendum on UK leaving the EU

    The EU’s and member state flags outside the European Parliament in Strasbourg
    Continue reading the main story
    Related Stories

    100,000 name petition for EU referendum
    Ed Stourton on Tory Eurosceptics
    Backbench MPs have agreed to hold a debate and vote on calls for a referendum to be held on whether the UK stays in the European Union.

    Members of the Backbench Business Committee agreed to hold the debate on October 27 on a motion calling for a referendum by May 2013.

    Tory MP David Nuttall’s motion says the public should have three options put to them in the nationwide vote – keeping the status quo, leaving the EU or reforming the terms of the UK’s membership of the European Union.

    The government would not be bound by the result of the vote but it could prove politically tricky for David Cameron.

    He has refused calls for an in/out referendum but it has been a popular idea among Tory backbenchers.

    ‘Public demand’
    The motion proposed says: “This House calls upon the Government to introduce a bill in the next session of Parliament to provide for the holding of a national referendum on whether the United Kingdom should remain a member of the European Union, leave the European Union, or renegotiate the terms of its membership in order to create a new relationship based on trade and cooperation.”

    Continue reading the main story

    Start Quote

    We would expect MPs and ministers to follow the government’s policy”

    Prime Minister’s spokesman
    Mr Nuttall said the debate was overdue as there was “enormous public demand” for people to have their say on the issue of Europe.

    “I believe that a referendum along these lines would allow the public to make clear their views about our current membership of the European Union,” he said.

    “It is 36 years since we last held a referendum and our relationship with what was then known as the Common Market and the European Union has changed out of all recognition.”

    No 10 have indicated that all Conservative MPs will be expected to support the government in rejecting the referendum option – the coalition agreement commits the UK to being a “positive participant in the European Union” .

    The prime minister’s spokesman said: “I imagine we will establish the whipping arrangements nearer the time but we have a very clear policy on that and that is set out in the coalition agreement.

    “We would expect MPs and ministers to follow the government’s policy.”

    But Eurosceptic Conservative MP Bill Cash said it should be for Parliament to decide on the issue and the “national interest” should override the coalition agreement.

    BBC Parliamentary correspondent Mark D’Arcy said about 50 Conservative MPs could support the referendum call, which would mean Labour’s approach to it “could turn out to be less academic than the normal Opposition line”.

    Labour says a referendum would be a “distraction” for the UK at a time when British business needs all the inward investment and export opportunities that they can get.

    A spokesman said: “Britain should be focused on creating the jobs and growth we desperately need, not cutting ourselves off from major export markets that British jobs depend on.”

    Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party, said the debate was “a good start… but with all party leaders demanding that their MPs reject the motion I hold out little hope of a yes vote”.

    “The real debate is going on out there in the country, in people’s homes, businesses and pubs. We know from many polls that a vast majority of people want this referendum, we learn next week how many of the MPs have the courage to support their constituents.”

    A petition signed by more than 100,000 people, including Conservative and Labour MPs, calling for a referendum was handed into Downing Street last month.

  8. I object to be labelled a eurosceptic by the press.
    I have been denied my democratic rights
    I, like others agreed in a referendum to the EEC, a low paperwork, free of duties and bureauocracy commercial union.
    I, like others never agreed to let some unelected twerps in Bruselles or Strasberg being able to interfere in my countries affairs by means of dictacs.
    The latest one being proposed is that I will have to seen prior approval of my local authority when driving out in a vehicle over 30 years old.
    I want to vote on membership of this new club named EU and membership if the montry eurozone.
    Neither of my votes will be positive, I prefer a losser arrangement.
    I want my democratic rights back and back now!

  9. Trade with Europe would un affected.
    Its flat now, so will improve.
    They need us as a target for exports. We wont deal unless our exports are let in to the continent.
    Just like the EEC
    Many german and japanese makers have their plants in England.They will force open markets more than any government can. They are more powerful because they have the ability to alter the rate of unemployment,
    House prices may well drop, but this is good for all.
    If property cossts less then more money is left in the paypacket to spend.
    Excellent for growth.
    Disposable income always is a good thing.
    But without a vote who knows what the English will want?

  10. Martin Do not forget out side the EU people living over seas will lose benefit rights. They be treated as out side the EU. The EU and Britain needs each other more so at the present climate. By pulling out UK could be accused of doing a dirty like USA did with Germany before the war, they pulled their money out twice, Germany went down hill, the rest is History. All depends if Britain takes the middle road on the issue. What the politics of the EU need is get out to Indian Brazil China, and other counties down south get trade and bring money and work back to the North. Then we leaned by the mistakes in the past. I feel a vote will be done by gut feelings and by the Sun then logic debate. It be swings and round about’s being in and out.

  11. Martin Are you still coming here in the Winter. You doing the best thing renting then buying a Casa. They have to get ring of this two price idea here. I was watching on BBC news people in Spain brought a house and been told it has to be knocked down as they no local planing promission when they allowed the house to be built. The chap said I advise anyone going to Spain rent rent rent. As every one knows Spain has history of bad planning with houses and roads. As someone said on the blog its going to be a very bumpy landing when it come. and we only in the air in the thunder storms at the moment.

  12. It was only a matter of time before following banning everything else that it could, and that is not under its control, Europe would go after the only thing that matters: the First Amendment. From Bloomberg: “Michel Barnier, European Union. Financial Services Commissioner, wants to give the European Securities and Markets Authority the power to temporarily prohibit credit-rating companies from publishing ratings about ailing countries, Financial Times Deutschland reports. Such a ban could prevent ratings from being published at “inappropriate moments” that could have negative effects on the financial stability of nations as well as on the global economy, the proposal states, according to the German newspaper.” Next up: ban on anonymous blogs whose disclosure of the truth could have “negative effects on the financial stability of nations as well as on the global economy.”
    by the way Vic have u had bad dream last nite?

  13. All week there’s been growing anticipation of this weekend’s big EU Summit, and the hope that perhaps this whole crisis could finally end, with a big bang bazooka.

    But over the last few days, the most optimistic hopes have faded, as one solution after another has been ruled out as either unworkable or illegal.

    And now this…

    There’s a headline out there about a report from Die Welt about the possibility of postponing the EU Summit. It seems German lawmakers would like to discuss the matter of EFSF leverage BEFORE the summit.

    Everything just tanked on the headline


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