Search continues for Danish tourists; UFO sighting in Madeira; Jazz sessions 2012 in Calheta continue; Port Wine; New financing mechanism for SMEs; Reasons Portuguese companies move abroad; Funchal Cruise Port busiest Portugal;

International, Portugal and Madeira News from Paul Abbiati:

Search continues for Danish tourists

The Diario Newspaper on Thursday reports that the search in Madeira continues for the 2 Danish tourists aged 73 and 76 missing since last Sunday.

link to article

UFO sighting in Madeira

The Diario Newspaper on Thursday reports a film posted on Youtube of a UFO sighting in Madeira on January 1st, 2012.

Funchal Cruise Port is the busiest in Portugal overtaking the capital’s port Lisbon.

link to Diario article:

Port Wine

“Port is a fortified wine created in the country of Portugal. Fortified
means that a still wine was created and then a bit of brandy was added to
bring the alcohol level up to between 17 and 20 percent. There are two main
stylings: tawny and ruby.

I generally prefer tawny or wood aged ports with a piece of Stilton cheese
or fruitcake for this end-of-the-day ritual. Tawny port generally is less
sweet and has more complex structure. Better tawny ports are clearly marked
as tawny port.

The Taylor-Fladgate 10 Year Old Tawny Porto ($30-35) is a good example of
how a label will help you tell if the wine is a tawny port or not. The label
states, “Aged for 10 years in wood.” Taylor-Fladgate creates the industry
standard 10 year, 20 year, 30 year and 40 year tawny ports along with a
special tawny port that is aged for a mere three to four years in wood
before bottling.


The age does not mean that all of the wine in the bottle is 10 years old. If
all of the wine in the bottle is from a single year it is marked as
“Colheita.” Tawny port is a blending of many years of wines with some being
just four years old and others being more than 10 years old. As the wine
ages in the wood, the purple color of the wine mellows to an orangish tawny
color and the tawny port wines take their name from the color. The vanilla
and wood impressions show well in tawny ports along with nutty and raisin

Ruby Port

Not all ports are aged for long periods on wood. There are port wines that
are aged for about two years in wood and then put into bottle to mature.
These are called ruby port. The name is also taken from the color of the
wine. Ruby ports tend to be a bright garnet color. Bottles marked as LBV or
Late Bottled Vintage, Crusted and Vintage Port are all ruby ports.

Vintage wine

A vintage wine always carries the year that the grapes were picked on the
label. Vintage wines are strictly regulated in Portugal and not every winery
is able to declare a vintage for their offerings every year. That is why you
can visit your local wine shop and see that they have vintage ports from
1963, 1985, 1987, 1991, 1995, 1997 et al but you won’t find 1990, 1993,
1996, 2001, 2002.

Vintage ports can be cellared for a long time. The great 1945 vintage is not
considered ready to drink yet. However, some of the weaker vintages are
ready to drink decades sooner. A good example is the difference between the
1994 Broadbent Porto ($50-60) and the 1997 Broadbent Porto ($60-70). Both
wines were declared vintage but the 1995 was declared a good vintage and is
ready to drink now or will age gracefully in your cellar for the next 10 to
15 years. The 1997 was declared an excellent vintage and won’t be considered
to be drinkable for a long time. The 1955 vintage was considered excellent
and is still considered a hold.

If you want a nice ruby port to drink right now then you need to consider
the Cockburns Special Reserve Porto ($25-30). A wine labeled as reserve is a
step above the base ruby port created by a port house but it may be a blend
of a couple of vintages and meant to be drunk young. This wine has been
created from barrels of wine that have been aged from four to six years
before blending and bottling.

The Graham’s Six Grape Reserve Porto ($25-30) features the words “Six
Grapes” above a depiction of six bunches of grapes. Many people think that
this means that the wine in the bottle is a blend of six different grape
varietals. If the wine in the bottle is a blend of six varietals it is only
coincidental. The wines of the area are rated by grape bunches. One bunch
being the lowest quality and six bunches being the highest quality. This
designation indicates that this is Graham’s best Reserve Porto…”


Jazz sessions in Calheta continue

Saturday night 7th January, 10pm, Casas das Mudas Art Centre, Calheta

link to Diario article:

New financing mechanism for SMEs

From Portugal Daily View:

“The Minister of the Economy Álvaro Santos Pereira announced the opening this Wednesday of a new €1.5bn line of credit for Portugal’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SME).

Santos Pereira said the credits, which will be made available as of 16 January, aimed to “improve the economic health and competitiveness” of SMEs.

The credits would have a spread of 5%, a rate the minister described as “quite competitive” as regards current market conditions.

Of the total €1.5bn, €250m would be reserved for micro and small businesses and €500m for exporting companies, he added.”

Reasons Portuguese companies are moving abroad

On the 2 January The Grupo Soares dos Santos, owner of retailer Jerónimo Martins announced the decision to sell its shares in the company to a subsidiary whose headquarters are in the Netherlands.

From Portugal Daily View:

“The question of patriotism is being raised at a time Portugal is facing an economic and financial crisis, but Grupo Soares dos Santos is not the only case in the country.

Several other companies have decided to act likewise, seeking fiscal and managing benefits especially when coupled with an interest in investing in other countries.

Because double taxation is inexistent, it is both easier and more attractive for companies such as Soares dos Santos to invest abroad through companies headquartered in places like the Netherlands, Luxembourg or even Belgium, says Rui Camacho from Linklaters, quoted by Jornal de Negócios.

The laws there are not only more attractive in fiscal matters but also in overseeing big holdings, unlike Portuguese laws, which are much more restrictive, limiting the scope of these companies’ action in several aspects, says Francisco de Sousa da Câmara from Morais Leitão, also quoted by Jornal de Negócios.

Other specialists refer the instability that can be found in Portuguese laws, which are frequently changing, as well as the current financial crisis affecting the country and banks’ ability to lend money to the economy. By moving their headquarters to the Netherlands, the Soares dos Santos Group has better access to international financing at a time the company is preparing to expand its business to other countries.

Other examples

There are also other Portuguese companies which have moved abroad, some with headquarters in central European countries. The family holding of Belmiro de Azevedo, owner of the conglomerate Sonae and the telecom Sonaecom, has several companies whose headquarters are located in the Netherlands, owning shares in Sonae and Sonaecom.

The same country was chosen by Pedro Queiroz Pereira, who owns more than 75% of the pulp and paper company Portucel, through Semapa. Seinpar Investments BV, fully owned by Semapa, has its headquarters in Amsterdam.

As for the Espírito Santo group, which controls the BES bank, the ESFG family holding is listed in Luxembourg with fewer costs for investors.

Portugal Telecom also has several shareholders like Controlinveste International Finance and RS Holdingwhich have their headquarters in the Netherlands and Luxembourrg, respectively.

Amorim Energia BV is also another such case. The utility company owned in part by businessman Américo Amorim holds a relevant share in the Portuguese oil company Galp Energia.”

link to full article

Images from the Diario Newspaper unless stated otherwise.

6 thoughts on “Search continues for Danish tourists; UFO sighting in Madeira; Jazz sessions 2012 in Calheta continue; Port Wine; New financing mechanism for SMEs; Reasons Portuguese companies move abroad; Funchal Cruise Port busiest Portugal;”

  1. The corpses of the two missing Danish tourists have been located and retrieved. It is thought they fell during a planned walk along the Levada dos Piornais. They were discovered lying in separate areas in the region of Ribeira dos Socorridos.

  2. Thank you Elaine ….. and as I understand the Diario articles, they (two elder ladies)were not reported missing, by the staff at the place they were staying, for quite sometime …. ALWAYS tell someone where you are going and when you intend to return.

    Indeed, ALL Hotel/Lodging staff have their part to play and should “gently” warn people of the dangers inherent with Levada walking – be it vertigo, uneven, fragile or slippery surfaces and the need for suitable footwear/clothing and torch/whistle etc. with a weather forecast also – and they should recommend an official guide if in any doubt about the ability/experience of the people for their chosen route……

    I’m not sure that the Police have determined the cause of the accident yet…….a sad event.

  3. Following the tragic accident, the Madeira Tourist board has advertised it’s current advice (and information) to all walkers/visitors, on the following site:

    Various links offer “Code of Conduct and safety regulations”, “Advice to walkers” (as above) and “Notice to walkers” with GOOD information about official approved walks, their current condition and any closures – all good stuff and I (at last) have to say: “WELL DONE MADEIRA TOURIST BOARD”.

    I heartly recommend it to all.

  4. Any one with a cold this drink may help you, They lot of colds about this time of year. Hot Toddy

    Hot Toddy Ingredients

    The ingredients you’ll need to make a traditional Hot Toddy are:
    1 oz brandy, whiskey or rum
    1 Tbsp honey
    1/4 lemon
    1 cup hot water
    1 tea bag of your favorite tea

    Prepare the Hot Toddy
    Coat the bottom of a mug with the honey.
    Add the liquor.
    Squeeze in the juice from the lemon.
    Heat the cup of water and add the tea bag to make hot tea.
    Pour the hot tea into the mug and stir.


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