The beach of Porto Santo has just been voted the best in the category of “Portugal Dunes”. It was one of three finalists (the two other beaches were on the mainland at Carvalhal and Ilha de Tavira – I know the latter well – a lovely spot!) in a national contest of “7 Wonders”, which apparently is based on “polls that show a large subjectivity” (not quite sure what that means!).
Altogether there were seven categories of beaches in Portugal awarded at the ceremony which was covered by RTP. Fatima Andrade Menezes, Mayor of Porto Santo, received the award saying that he was sure that port-santenses would greatly appreciate the trophy.
It has been announced that the rent-a-car company Hertz will buy Dollar Thrifty for about 2.3 billion dollars. The latter company has been a partner of Bravacar in Madeira for some while. This purchase ends a two-year battle with Avis who were also interested in the company, reports the international press.
Lufthansa inaugural flight from Berlin
September 8 saw the inaugural flight of the German airline Lufthansa from Berlin to Madeira Airport, with 132 passengers. To mark the occasion, the Madeira Airports performed the traditional "shower" of the aircraft using fire tenders and Madeira wine and flowers were distributed to passengers on the flight. This will be a weekly operation at a frequency to be held on Saturday, with an A319 aircraft with capacity for 130 passengers.
Good publicity in the Mail Online on the 9th of September:
“Madeira is back to its best, just two years after it was struck by deadly floods. And if anything, this balmy spot is even more popular with British visitors as a short hop to the winter sun – or, frankly, any time sun. Gareth Huw Davies found plenty to do on this exuberant Atlantic island off west Africa, from formal gardens and fabled afternoon tea, to white-knuckle cable-car rides and driving under waterfalls”
Full article including a list of six “must-do’s”: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-2200567/Six-things-Madeira-Afternoon-tea-white-knuckle-cable-car-rides.html#ixzz263JhvNC1
Portugal strengthens ties with Venezuela
In the first six months of 2012 Portugal exported to Venezuela €159 million, exceeding the total exported in all of 2011, announced the Portuguese Foreign Minister, Paulo Porta, in Caracas yesterday. "In the first half (of 2012) Portugal exported 159 million to Venezuela. In the previous year, throughout the year, we export 151 million, so we’re on track," he said.
According to the Foreign Minister "Venezuela is now the second largest customer of Portugal in Latin America and it represents an important relationship for both economies and for businesses and companies on both sides."
He stressed how important the relationship between the state and the Portuguese Galp Petróleos de Venezuela, "is a key anchor for the development and funding of Portuguese exports" and there is a "series of Portuguese products that are helped in their export precisely these contacts" between that company and Venezuelan oil.
The foreign minister also stated that "the relationship state to state with Venezuela is very important for Portugal, there are more than 400,000 Portuguese living in Venezuela and the first duty of a ruler is to look at your compatriots anywhere in the world and are Many who participate every day in economic, social and civic life of Venezuela. "
Being involved with the property market in Madeira you cannot help but notice the number of apartments owned by Venezuelans – particularly in the developments around Ajuda. Presumably this is largely down to a desire to get their money out of their native country. There are direct flights to Madeira from Caracas – described recently by the Guardian as one of the most dangerous cities in the world.
The Diario today, by complete coincidence, reports the news that Portuguese Bank BES is to open 15 branches in Venezuela
Passos Coelho uses Facebook to announce more austerity and provokes furious response
More from the Mail Online today, reporting that a “Facebook post by Portugal’s prime minister bemoaning the difficulty of announcing yet more austerity measures has sparked a furious response from recession-hit Portuguese voters.
Pedro Passos Coelho posted his message on the social networking site on Saturday. By Tuesday morning it had attracted more than 47,000 mainly critical comments. Most of those responses attacked Mr Coelho over the unfairness of the measures or by detailing the penury faced by ordinary citizens in the country, which is subject to a €78billion bailout programme.
‘Mr Prime Minister, your term in office only recently began, but it is already proving a disaster, unemployment has become a permanent fact of life,’ read one typical comment.
‘You have clearly never been offered a part-time secretarial job paying €2 an hour or tried to divide a pork cutlet between three people,’ said another.
A third read, simply: ‘New mathematical equation: Portuguese political parties + Portuguese career politicians = legalized Mafia.’ The outpouring of criticism on Mr Passos Coelho’s Facebook page came after he on Friday announced a fresh austerity package designed to keep international creditors at bay.
The spending cuts, which will see pay for many workers slashed, are needed to keep Portugal on track to comply with the economic restructuring requirements attached to its massive bailout programme.
The Mail reports that “the unexpected scale and force of the reponse to the measures suggests the patience with which Portuguese voters have hitherto accepted austerity is being stretched. ‘The prime minister failed to understand that [his announcement] could represent the beginning of a collapse in public support,’ Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, a leading commentator from Mr Passos Coelho’s own centre-right Social Democrats, was quoted by the Financial Times as saying.
In his Facebook post, Mr Passos Coelho described how announcing the strict measures had been ‘one of the most thankless speeches a prime minister can make.’
Speaking as a ‘citizen and a father’, and addressing voters as ‘friends’, he wrote of his ‘frustration in not being able to spare you from these sacrifices’.
Unemployment is a ‘personal and family drama’, he said, adding that the reforms ‘represent a necessary and unavoidable step towards a real and lasting solution’.’We won’t give up until the job is done and we will never forget that our children are watching what we do,’ he said.
A lot of the response to Mr Passos Coelho’s message were insulting, with many calling for his resignation or worse. One of the more measured comments judged the reforms thus: ‘This is the opposite of Robin Hood, this robs the poor to give to the rich.’
Brilliant story – pretty much replicated from the Mail Online – thank you: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2201418/Portugals-PM-uses-Facebook-pain-announcing-austerity–savaged-voters-comments.html#ixzz269wrVTpq