Dengue fever latest. New wave of austerity measures. Cameron to veto EU budget?

New wave of austerity measures

Amid growing unrest, Portugal’s Finance Minister Vitor Gaspar unveiled details recently of a new wave of austerity measures, aimed at reducing the country’s deficit and appeasing its bail-out creditors. Keen to secure the next tranche of international aid from Portugal’s bail-out agreement, Gaspar previewed the 2013 budget providing for fiscal measures totalling around EUR4.3bn.

Among the key measures to be included in the budget are plans to introduce a 4% extraordinary tax on income next year and to reduce from eight to five the number of income tax brackets. With both these measures the average income tax rate will increase from 9.8% to 13.2%. Public servants who saw their two annual bonuses cut this year will have one bonus returned, while pensioners will recover the equivalent of 1.1 bonuses.

Other proposed tax rises announced by the finance minister include plans to impose new levies on capital gains and to introduce a financial transactions tax. Precise details of these proposed measures have yet to be finalized.

The centre-right Portuguese government of Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho has, however, been forced to abandon its controversial plans to increase social security contributions paid by workers. As previously reported, the government had planned to increase payroll social security contributions by almost two thirds, from 11% to 18%, and to reduce employer contributions from 25% currently to 18%.

Unsurprisingly, the proposals provoked immediate outrage from unions and from workers, accusing the government of simply transferring the fiscal burden from companies to individuals. The u-turn marked a significant turning point, highlighting Portugal’s waning patience and increasing frustration with the austerity measures imposed by international lenders in return for the country’s EUR78bn bailout programme, agreed with the Troika last year.

Portugal has already pursued a rigorous fiscal policy, raising taxes, cutting wages and public spending. The government aims to reduce the deficit from a forecast 5% of gross domestic product (GDP) this year to 4.5% in 2013, and to subsequently 2.5% of GDP in 2014, under the 3% limit.

The new proposals are to be examined by the Portuguese parliament on October 15, the budgetary measures have already gained approval from the European Commission

Acknowledging the new measures will have a huge impact on the lives of the Portuguese, the government also revised up its unemployment rate forecast, now expecting it to reach 16.4% in 2013, above its estimate of 16% forecast earlier in September.

Cameron vows to veto EU spending increases

The British Prime Minister, David Cameron, made a rare appearance in the local paper today on the back of him threatening to veto the “multiannual” budget of the European Union (EU) for 2014-2020, criticizing attempts to increase Europeans spending “scandalous"



"If you must say no to a deal that is not good for the UK, I’ll say no," Cameron said in an interview published today in The Sunday Telegraph. He says it is not possible to increase spending, and also put forward a “bold thinking” plan for the EU to have two separate budgets – one for the 17 nations in the eurozone and another for the 10 outside it, including Britain. This could potentially save the UK money – but would effectively set up a two-tier Europe.

The 27 have been discussing in recent months the EU’s multi-annual budget for 2014-2020. The first meeting in late August in Nicosia, Cyprus, revealed major differences between Member States. On September 3, Van Rompuy called for  an extraordinary summit of European leaders on 22 and 23 November to be dedicated exclusively to the negotiations on the multiannual budget 2014-2020.

In June 2011, the European Commission presented a proposal of 1,083 billion euros of expenditure for the period 2014-2020, which represents 1.11 per cent of European gross domestic product and an increase of 5 percent over the 2007-2013, contested by countries such as the UK and Germany.

At the time, the Commission president, José Manuel Barroso, stated that Portugal would "clearly winning" if the 27 approve the proposal submitted framework of the EU budget from 2014, the said that Portuguese Government has considered the initiative proposed by  Brussels "positive" and a "good basis" for negotiations.

Dengue Fever latest

For details of the recent outbreak please see the previous post. As of this last weekend, the regional secretary for Social Affairs, Francisco Jardim Ramos, hadeclined to update the number of people infected, describing this number as “dynamic”! Various (unconfirmed) sources report that there are just two cases of the fill blown dengue-fever.

However on Monday he was more forthcoming: “Until noon today, only three cases were admitted to the main Dr. Nelio Mendonca Hospital in Funchal with the condition. On the first day were 37 cases. At the end-of-week numbers were also high, but today started down significantly ….. so far 14 have been confirmed in total”.

The secretary said: "The disease is a benign strain. This is like the flu."

President of the Institute of Health Administration and Social Affairs, Maurício Melim, told broadcaster Rádio Renascença that citizens should watch out for symptoms and take precautions, “Only those with fever, joint and muscular pains, swollen hands and feet, patches on upper and lower body members should contact the health services”, he said.

Once again the parish of Santa Lucia, Funchal, where, in 2005, the first mosquito that transmits dengue fever virus was detected, seems to be at the centre of the outbreak, with local residents saying quoted in the Diario as claiming that the numbers are increasing year-on-year. I remember a few years ago the owners of cafe in Funchal always referring to any odd mosquito that turned up as being “from Santa Lucia”.

The Diario has been running the story that the outbreak of the disease has been predicted for six years. A search on our own archives reveals that we reported on the potential problem four years ago:



Update 12.00 10.10.12 – recommendation for those traveling to Madeira

The Directorate General of Health (DGS)  has announced a series of recommendations for all citizens traveling to Madeira due to dengue cases confirmed in the archipelago.

Recalling that dengue is not transmitted from person to person, but only by the bite of mosquitoes infected with the virus, the DGS stressed that the use of insect repellents is an essential step in prevention.

Thus, in case of traveling to Madeira, the DGS recommends “using fresh clothes and wide, preferably in light colours and covering the largest area possible body, and the choice of accommodation preferably with air conditioning or mosquito nets”.

“The DGS requested, however, that the repellents are not used in children under the age of 2 months. They also warned that during the stay or within 14 days after returning home, it is not recommended to use acetylsalicylic acid (Aspirin) and other  drugs (ibuprofen).

Symptoms that are commonly associated with dengue fever are sudden onset of headache, muscle aches, joint pain, or, more rarely, bleeding or spots on the body”.

The DGS stressed that for controlling fever and pains  Paracetamol can be used and you should still contact an attending physician or a local health service.

If anybody is concerned about medication that should not be taken when suffering from Dengue Fever, the blog cannot offer medical advice. However, if you were to Google the fever and “nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs” you would find a wealth of information.

21 thoughts on “Dengue fever latest. New wave of austerity measures. Cameron to veto EU budget?”

  1. I is interesting to think how the unelected mandarins in the EU can propose increased spending when the majority of member states are in recession.
    How can they think to increase budget contributions to the EU whether needed or not, when members are almost in breach of their international debt obligations now?
    You can detect the effects of increased taxes throughout the Eurozone, trade is falling, consumer purchasing down, GDPs down.
    If Europe is not to be overwhelmed economically by the Far East and South America, then low cost government must be applied together with the resulting lower tax burdens.
    Freedoms, economically and fiscally and politically must be returned to the population so they may have a chance to break out of stagnation and relative poverty to create vibrant trading economies.

  2. Admin re Tap, I have been using Tap from uk to madeira since BA in the form of GB Airways stopped flying and I have no complaints about their service very civilised, check in online bag drop as soon as you get to airport, comfortable seats plenty of legroom. As to price compares well to easyjet etc when you add in all the extra’s, in fact on one costing in late may it was cheaper by about £50 for two to fly TAP from gatwick including 2 weks car parking (and fuel) than it was for us to fly from stanstead on easyjet after paying their extra’s and like martin I live 25min from stanstead. However we did try easyjet once wife still has nightmares !!! Did notice last saturday whilst meandering past Santa Cruz Lufthansa, perfect three pointer, TAP the same Easyjet (Lisbon Flight) wings waving full power abort on runway23.
    Maybe things will improve when Stanstead sold as Tap having problems at Gatwick re shunting to far corners and also being held after pushback.

  3. Lisbon Easyjet flight had technical problems.
    We were in queue at gate for our 7.15pm flight to Gatwick when they announced we would be flying at “midnight and thirty” They took our plane that had flown down from Gatwick for the Lisbon passengers and we had to wait for an empty plane with a standby crew and some parts for the plane with a problem to fly down from Gatwick. Landed 4am Sunday instead of 11 pm Saturday

  4. Don’t get me wrong Colin. We love TAP and will fly with them whenever we can – great leg-room – not quite sure about some of the “iffy” sandwiches – but I learnt from them that cheese and jam go together perfectly. Free drinks! I believe we have sufficient “Victoria Miles” to upgrade to First Class next time we return to the UK which proves our loyalty over the years. The problem that I had with TAP pricing was the cost of 90 minutes in the air to Lisbon later this month – €300+ returning the following day!

  5. from dnoticias 18 cases of dengue confirmed
    DGS awaiting laboratory confirmation of 191 “probable cases” of the disease

    18 cases of dengue confirmed and 191 other probable cases awaiting laboratory confirmation, the data are just now served by the Directorate General of Health (DGS) under the updated information on cases of dengue in the autonomous region.

    In the statement, signed by the Director-General of Health, Francis George, are those that currently, there are 11 hospitalizations associated with the disease. A total of 26 persons were hospitalized from the beginning of the “surge”.

    A Scientific Committee composed of experts from the Directorate General of Health, National Institute of Health Dr. Ricardo Jorge, the Portuguese Institute of Blood and Transplant and the Institute of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine accompanies the situation. Moreover, the DGS said to be in constant contact with the regional health authorities, the World Health Organization and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (Stockholm).

  6. By a strange coincidence, I find myself on vacation in the Madeira archipelago after recently retiring from a 30-year career studying virus-induced diseases in the UK university system. Some comments here are quite surprising. Are tourists being advised of this issue before boarding flights to Funchal? As for “avoid aspirin” Madeira has always attracted “more mature” tourists, many of whom are obliged to take aspirin routinely for cardiovascular problems. Should these individuals abandon use of aspirin and run the risk of suffering from coronary problems such as myocardial infarction? And bed nets for sleeping? Precisely how many vacation properties have mosquito nets available? I would guess close to zero per cent.

  7. Despite the dangers, lots of holidaymakers are on their way for the winter season.
    We expect to join them soon!
    Are there any published pictures of the progress of work on the prom and any architects visuals of what is being built?

  8. from dnoticias Union wins award of 2012

    The Nobel Peace Prize 2012 was awarded to the European Union (EU) for his contribution to peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights, the Nobel Committee announced today.

    “The union and its precursors have contributed for more than six decades, to advance peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe”, writes the Norwegian Nobel Committee in the statement announcing the award.

    The Committee recalls that the EU is currently going through “severe economic hardship and social unrest considerable”, but prefers to focus on what he considers the “most important result” of marriage: “The stabilizing role of the EU helped to transform most of Europe a continent of war in a continent of peace. ”

    In the same text, read by the secretary of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, former Prime Minister Thorbj º rn Jagland, which also leads the Council of Europe, the agency notes that, between the two world wars, awarded several prizes to people seeking reconciliation between Germany and France, which became a reality after 1945.

    “The terrible suffering during the Second World War demonstrated the need for a new Europe,” wrote the committee, noting that today is “unthinkable” a war between France and Germany, which over 70 years fought in three wars.

    “This shows how, through well-directed efforts and building mutual trust, historical enemies have become close partners,” said the Norwegian Nobel Committee.

    The statement also reiterates the EU accession of Greece, Spain and Portugal in the 1980s, which was based on the condition of the introduction of democracy, and openness to the countries of Central and Eastern Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall, which opened a ” new era in European history. ”

    “The division between East and West was largely finished; democracy was strengthened; many national ethnic conflicts have been completed,” recalls the Committee.

    In a statement, the Commission emphasizes that the admission of Croatia next year, opening negotiations with Montenegro and award candidate status to Serbia strengthen the reconciliation process in the Balkans and points out that the possibility of Turkey’s accession also contributed in last decade, to advance democracy and human rights in the country.

    “The EU’s work represents ‘fraternity between nations’ and constitutes a form of ‘peace conference’ that Alfred Nobel stated as a criterion for the Nobel Peace Prize in his will of 1895,” the committee concluded.

    Last year, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to three women, the President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, the Liberian Leymah Gbowee and also Yemeni activist Tawakkul Karman.

    The season of Nobel prizes 2012 began on Monday with the announcement of the Nobel Prize for Medicine and ends on the 15th with the Economy. The Nobel Peace Prize is the only one that advertises and delivers outside Stockholm, by express decision of the founder of the prizes.

    The Nobel prize, created in 1895 by chemist, engineer and Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel (inventor of dynamite) were assigned for the first time in 1901

  9. Martin, check webcams on madeira-web new cam 12 also plan of works on madeira travel news but I haven’t seen 3d rep on anything yet.
    Funny thing is on 3rd Oct they were deciding on who should be awarded contract but work had already started week previous????

  10. The work being carried out at the moment is the joining of the 2 rivers to one large outlet into the sea, I don’t think it has anything to do with the redevelopment to the front of Funchal, correct me if I am wrong.

  11. From sapodotpt @ 1524
    Lisbon, Oct 12 (Lusa)–the Regional Government of Madeira is not significantly to comply with conditions laid down in the adjustment programme concluded with the Republic, something that continued in the second evaluation to Madeiran program, says the European Commission.

    “The second evaluation to Madeira adjustment programme reveals a significant degree of non-compliance. (…) The Madeira region is proving a significant degree of non-compliance with conditions of the adjustment program with the Government “, says the European Commission’s report on the fifth assessment of Economic and financial assistance program of Portugal.

    Brussels recognises that budgetary performance is affected by a drop in tax revenues derived from external factors to the region, but stresses that “the reduction of expenditure is far short” of the provisions.


  12. Bertie!
    Time to say Bye Bye….

    Fair comments Anon, I believe that the dengue fever is “level 1″ (only!) with headaches and joint pains, maybe with some blood”spotting” on the body….

    Luckily in Gaula (SE Coast, near Santa Cruz) we don’t seem to be affected and in general, have very little mosquito trouble. Window screens in all guest rooms, repellant and beer on the terrace of an evening seem to work for us…..and gin and tonic!

    But I do agree that there is a serious problem, concentrated at the moment in certain parts of Funchal, that DOES need to be eradicated……hullo Bertie!?!

    Also, recent guest feedback from the tourist board/public office in Funchal, on matters various, once again confirms that they are apathetic, rude and frankly, useless……

  13. I see Bertie has answered your concerns Jon by accusing RTP/RDP of economic sabotage by interviewing tourists, locals etc about the the mosquito problem. In fact he has written a formal letter of complaint to the chairman of the board of directors of RTP and deputy minister of parlimentary affairs.
    Breathtaking isn’t it.
    One wonders what would happen if RTP/RDP suddenly took an interrest in Bertie himself.

  14. Which makes him nothing mroe than a village idiot gravelling at the feet
    of America’s enemies. It just seems difficult for men, especially, to settle down and not work. s definition to include climate activism, human rights, and micro-financing.


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