Possible ferry link with Canaries? Criminal inquiry into concealment of public debts in Madeira? “Saving Elkanah Merrell”. WalkMe app for iPhone fixed.

Ultraperipheries of MEPs are not unanimous about the viability of a line as the Weapons.  PHOTO ASPRESS

According to the Diario on Wednesday, two MEPs from the Canaries revealed yesterday in Brussels that their islands remain keen to establish direct and regular maritime links with Madeira, through a ‘ferry’ service similar to that provided until January this year by Naviera Armas, admitting even the possibility of the Spanish subsidising the line.

At a meeting held in the Belgian capital for the press of Madeira, Azores and Canary Islands, Gabriel Mato and Juan Fernando López Aguilar explained that one of the strategic objectives of Canaries is enhanced maritime connections, both internal and external. They consider it possible to invoke an exception to the Treaty on European Union with regard to the prohibition of state aid and allow direct government support to the Spanish exploration of such a route, since it does not appear to be economically sustainable, at least at the outset.

MEP Madeiran Nuno Teixeira (PSD) gave another take on the project, pointing out that despite the enthusiasm the Spanish showed at the meeting, the truth is that Canaries apply a specific tax (AIM) on goods which are unloaded in its archipelago, which ultimately hamper the entry of products from regions such as Madeira and the Azores. "None of (my) fellow MEPs touched the essential point, which is that we have now a tax differentiation that is suicidal in terms of the existence of a transmission line between Madeira and the Canaries. While a product that comes from the Canaries you only pay VAT for it to enter Madeira , but when someone tries to send a product to Canaries they have to pay this AIM tax which has a rate of 5, 15 or 25 per cent plus VAT on top of that. This, from a commercial standpoint, vitiated the relationship, "he noted.

My sources tell me that the proposed new route from mainland Portugal is still on the table but meeting opposition from Porto Santo Line, the operator of the Funchal/Porto Santo ferry (who, I was informed but cannot verify, operate the container ships into Madeira from the mainland)

Criminal inquiry to investigate the alleged concealment of public debts in Madeira?

According to the Press Agency Lusa, reported in the Diario, “the report by the Centre for Technical Assistance (NAT) on the alleged concealment of public debt of Madeira is complete and was delivered Tuesday to the Central Department of Investigation and Penal Action.

"The Technical Advisory report was presented on Tuesday and is being analysed – any action will be taken after the findings are considered  according to information from Lusa yesterday. According to the same source, this report will be inserted into the process and considered evidence.

NAT is a body that was created in 1997 to "provide technical advice to the Attorney General’s Office and, in general, the economic, financial, banking, accounting and securities market."

In September 2011, the then Attorney General of the Republic, Fernando Pinto Monteiro, announced the opening of a criminal inquiry to investigate the alleged concealment of public debts in Madeira. This decision came after the National Institute of Statistics and the Bank of Portugal have circulated a statement to quantify the financial burdens assumed by Madeira, which were neither paid nor reported.

For these two authorities, concern is that the alleged practice is "serious," since this "omission" would require the revision of deficits from 2008 to 2010, to include in the Portuguese budget deficit 1.1133 billion euros for these three years, the majority (915.3 million euros) being in 2010.

Following this process triggered by the RMP it was determined that Madeira had a public debt of around 6,000 million euros, which led to a Plan of Economic and Financial Adjustment negotiated between the central and regional governments, which determined, inter alia, the increased tax burden in the region.

Also during this process, in April this year, the DCIAP conducted a series of additional measures of search and seizure of "physical documents and their computer records" in Madeira, which involved a contingent of 25 soldiers of the National Guard and magistrates. The building of the former Regional Secretariat for Social Infrastructure in Funchal, where different services are overseen by the Regional Government, was closed for several hours and several officers were also interviewed – these have not become defendants.

The conclusion of the report of NAT was originally scheduled for late September, but only now been completed and will be examined by the competent authorities.

“Saving Elkanah Merrell”

A strange coincidence here – “Elkanah” being the “moniker” of a new  contributor to the Comments section of this blog. This from the smashwords.com book review website.:

Cover for 'Saving Elkanah Merrell'

By Philip Lister
Rating: Not yet rated.
Published: Oct. 30, 2012
Words: 42376 (approximate)
Language: English
ISBN: 9781301457175

Short description

”Winters were bleak in Brontes Haworth, In Victorian Madeira there were no Winters. "Last night, I dreamt that I could smell the Jaquranada again,I walked through their purple petals, sprinkled like soft frosted snow on moonlit pavements, with the warm breeze from the ocean upon my face" After breakfast, the family had all gone and the house was quiet again, but the images remained”.

Extended description

Winters were bleak in Brontes Haworth, In Victorian Madeira there were no Winters. "Last night, I dreamt that I could smell the Jaquranada again,I walked through their purple petals, sprinkled like soft frosted snow on moonlit pavements, with the warm breeze from the ocean upon my face" After breakfast, the family had all gone and the house was quiet again, but the images remained, and I found myself in one of the upstairs rooms at the back of the house, a place I had not been for years;looking through old trunks, and storage boxes. then I saw it, dusty and neglected in a corner. One of the two domed toped, pine and cast iron sailing trunks, loaned to me by uncle Hartley over fifty years ago, its once gleaming fittings now green with verdigris. With no definite purpose at first, I knelt down and clicked open the catches. As I opened the lid I thought for an instant that I smelt the faintest aroma of Lavender”.

Logo WalkMe

Partly as a result of a comment on the blog, the WalkMe app has been fixed for iPhones. We were updated in an e-mail today; “I’m glad to inform you that the app is fixed and is working well now on iPhones”. Well done – prompt service!

This app allows visitors to navigate the levadas plus lots more on their mobile devices – see previous blog posting for more information


17 thoughts on “Possible ferry link with Canaries? Criminal inquiry into concealment of public debts in Madeira? “Saving Elkanah Merrell”. WalkMe app for iPhone fixed.”

  1. From the Euronews EU wants to crack down on tax dodgers

    Tax dodgers cost the coffers of EU governments as much as one trillion euros a year.

    That’s according to the European Commission, which says it is time to get tough on those who stash their money abroad.

    “One trillion euro that is what we are losing every year to tax evasion and avoidance in the EU. To break it down, we are talking about 2,000 euro per European citizen,” said Algirdas Semeta, commissioner for taxation.
    “The Commission recommends that members states use common criteria to identify and blacklist tax havens and apply co-ordinated measures against them.”

    Tax evasion is a hot topic in this time of economic crisis. Governments are under severe pressure to claw back lost revenues as they try to balance their books.

    But such measures at the EU level require the agreement of all member states.

    Erik Rydberg of the Gresea think-tank said it would require consensus from all 27 countries, something which he sees as unlikely.

    “We know that asking changes in Ireland would provoke conflict,” he said, referring to Dublin’s low corporate tax rate. “Luxembourg is a tax haven and holds the Eurogroup presidency. So this fiscal fraud, in the ordinary meaning of the term, is in fact happening inside Europ

  2. ElkanahGate.
    Dear Admin.
    I read with interest your hinted exposure of my identity on yesterdays Blog. (Before I put together my reply I spent several hours last night trying to contact my UK agent but for some reason he does not seem to answering his phone.) Well spotted! The true identity of ‘Ekanah’ is myself Philip Lister.
    I have been a regular reader of the Blog for some years now, but have always stopped short of comment, but I have to say a while ago when I read Martins ‘Bee Suits against Dengue” post I could resist response no longer! Hope that some of my ideas may have raised a least a smile. On the subject of ‘Saving Ekanah Merrell’ although I have previously had a couple of titles published by a conventional publisher this is my first venture into epublishing. It is a work of fiction – set out in diary format, based on a Yorkshireman’s visit to Madeira in 1859 and his experiences at that time. It is available for most ereader devices. If anyone is interested in the book my only advice would be please disregard all the reviews posted (especially the favourable ones) and download a free sample to judge the content for yourself. You then can proceed to purchase if you enjoy it. I am reliably informed by the nice people at Kindle that they are expecting a massive increase in worldwide sales of their devices this month as a result the book. Kindest regards Philip Lister.

  3. from Dnoticias New proof cars stick in Santa Cruz

    The recreational and cultural association of friends of cars stick Água de Pena, in partnership with the Parish of Santa Cruz and the House of the People of Santa Cruz and with the support of the Municipality of Santa Cruz co-organize another edition of Regional Championship Cars of Pau on Sunday. The race will have a distance of 3.5 km and begin at 16h00.

    The route begins at Rua das Levada, then enters the Rua de São Sebastião and termiba in the New Street Causeway. These roads will close at 15h30 because of race car crash.

  4. from Dnoticias Isabel Jonet says Portuguese need to educate consumer habits

    The president of the Food Bank Against Hunger, Isabel Jonet, argues that the Portuguese need to educate their consumption habits to avoid food waste, the purpose of a study released today.

    Public and Express Newspapers today anticipate some findings of a national study on food waste – from production to final consumption – which indicates that Portugal loses annually one million tons of food.

    Although the value is lower than the European average, means that each inhabitant Portuguese wastes 97 pounds of food per year.

    Speaking to Lusa, Isabel Jonet warns that there is waste in various areas of food production, such as agriculture or fisheries, but stresses that “most food waste is in people’s homes and you need to educate habits and ways of living” .

    “Where is you have to act on the purchase. Least have to buy [in smaller quantities] not to spoil in the refrigerator,” he argued.

    Isabel Jonet recalled that food banks – in Portugal and other countries – were created precisely to fight against waste, using, for example, surplus of domestic production within safety standards and validity.

    In 2011 food banks recovered 31 thousand tons of products that have as target the destruction, of which six are tons fruit.

    The study, which will be presented on Thursday in Lisbon, proposes several measures for consumers reduce food losses, as the planning of purchases and reeições, but also for those responsible for the distribution and supply, such as creating smaller packages.

    Isabel Jonet considers that the results of this study indicate that “the real value to assign to the property.”

  5. On a seemingly relevant food note —–

    As you may or not know, in Madeira now is about the time of the “squealing” pigs..

    And yep, our neighbours, with quite some dignity (and not really much noise at all) duly despatched their porky pet to food heaven this early a.m. – and have spent the rest of the day, prepping/preparing/cooking and otherwise dealing with the poor fellows bits….

    All accompanied by family members and an amount of chatter/drink and celebration.

    We of course are a little squeamish but hey, live and let live = or in this case – Die!

    So, we busied ourselves on tasks various like painting, gardening and feeding the chickens and talking to them and promising no sticky end…..

    And indeed took Lucy for another walk….Of course we passed the scene of “celebration” and tried not to notice the butchers shop display on the table outside of their garden cobertura and BBQ area….but said Hullo nicely!

    In any event, all family members (Pig excepted) seemed to be having a jolly time and we retired to the confines of our lounge/fire/pets and somewhat sanitised food stuffs to come…

    DING DONG! The Doorbell …. TEE HEE – the most fresh pork loin steaks ever have just been delivered for our delight!

    Well, what can I say? Honoured of course but Deb doesn’t like pork, it seems! So, in the fridge to pause and ponder! Sausages says I . No, says Deb, meats too good = would you like a curry…..? Ricardo said they will BBQ a La Espetada a treat and I must admit the meat is lean and oh so fresh ….. But presently lingering in the fridge ( I think it was still actually warm) until we can come to a team decision!


    There does indeed seem to be a Party going on across the road now…..and as a link to the above post, they will use EVERY bit!

    Nature, rural life and reality I guess….not seen in Tesco/Sainsbury in the U.K.!

    The good life indeed, honoured by our neighbours, Merry Christmas team!

    Turkey anyone?

    Jon and Deb

  6. I have a friend looking for a lawyer in Canico area. Names are not allowed on this site and private messages are awkward and involve extra work for the admin (all for good reasons I totally agree with). If you could recommend one, would you be so kind as to post it on the forum?

  7. from Dnoticias Government aid to combat the plague of bee diseases

    Manuel António Correia said the Executive is supporting with technical assistance and medicines.

    Manuel António Correia assured that the Government is closely monitoring the disease that afflicts some hives through “by providing technical assistance and medicines” to combat the plague that according to him “is relatively controlled, but this needs further work.” The statement was made on the sidelines of the celebration of Mass in the Faja Penedo in honor of St. Ambrose, the patron saint of beekeepers.

    The official said the Madeiran Executive tries to use the “Porto Santo as exemplary case in eradicating the disease by introducing bees certified as the absence of disease and for taking advantage of the fact that being a microcosm, a small area to have a production of excellence.”

    Finally, Manuel António Correia noted the growth of honey production in the region noting that the products are already being exported outside the region and that more business opportunities will emerge shortly. Altogether there are about 170 beekeepers in production volume ranging between 30 and 40 tons

  8. Hi Neal, schools finish Tuesday 18th for Christmas hols and go back on Jan 3rd. At least these are the dates for my children’s Portuguese primary. Pre-schools close a day or two later.

  9. from Dnoticias Madeira with a 13.8% drop in fuel consumption

    The crisis and rising fuel prices account for a drop in consumption unparalleled in Madeira, in the first 10 months of the year, representing on average 13.8% less than gasoline and diesel sold.

    According to data from the Regional Direction of Trade, Industry and Energy of the Government of Madeira, from January to October were sold 111.2 million liters of fuel for road use, 17.6 million liters less than in the same period a year above.

    Fruit to be the most expensive fuel, unleaded gasoline of 98 octane dropped by 25.5% since this year sold 6.4 million liters, less than two million in the first 10 months of last year.

    Since the marketing of unleaded 95-octane had a less marked fall, registering 5.4%. From January to October sold 29 million liters.

    Also the diesel consumption fell by 15.3%. By October the stations sold 75.7 million liters, 12 million less than in the same period last year.

    Despite having worsened in 15% rates of tax on Petroleum Products (ISP), the regional government acknowledges in its budget execution report that in the first 10 months of the year’s revenue fell 8.1% ISP and represented 43.8 million euros, less than four in the same period last year.

  10. Jon
    We have friends who live just north of Aljezur on the mainland and whilst visiting them last year a neighbouring farmer killed a couple of pigs. A bit of a culture shock for the Memsahib as she is a Battersea girl but some of my childhood was in Cheshire so not so for me. It was a wonderfully festive occasion and reinforced my love of black pudding.
    As for Madeira when we have been in Curral das Freiras in January we have heard the evocative call of the pig man across the valley selling his baby porkers for the next year

  11. from Euronews EU receives Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo

    The Nobel Peace Prize has been collected in Norway’s capital Oslo by the Presidents of the EU’s three main institutions.

    The European Union was awarded the prize for its role in uniting the continent and bringing about reconciliation after two world wars.

    The prize, which is for all Europeans, was received jointly by European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and European Parliament President Martin Schulz.

    Critics say the award is inappropriate at a time of economic crisis in the continent.

    Germany and France were commended for their part in turning from old enemies into allies.

    The prize money of 930,000 euros ($1.25 million) will be given to projects that help children, particularly those in war zones

  12. from Dnoticias Hospital of Terceira detects a case of dengue, which says it has been imported from Madeira

    The Holy Spirit Hospital, the island of Terceira in the Azores has detected one case of dengue infection which originated in Madeira, clinical director said today.

    “The patient felt a sting in Madeira, came to the Third and developed fever,” he said in a statement to Lusa, the clinical director of the hospital, Lourdes Day, adding that the man only resorted to the clinic four days later, where he was hospitalized for “three days.”

    Lurdes Dias also said that the man “has been discharged”, accompanied by consultation.

    According to clinical director, the hospital “usually make a notification” of such cases to the regional secretariat of Health, however, the doctor who accompanied the patient “was awaiting developments” of the patient, so it did immediately.

    In a press release Support Office in Media, guardianship reports that “regional direction of Health is monitoring the case and returned to warn all hospitals and health units to follow the rules that were formerly issued on this matter and report immediately any suspected case or that may arise. ”

    The regional directorate of Health also notes that “gave directions to the Hospital of the Holy Spirit of Terceira to ascertain the reasons for non-disclosure of this case.”

    Guardianship also found that “there is no reason for concern, since the disease is not transmitted from person to person,” just being “contracted by the bite of the mosquito ‘aedes aegypti’,” which is not likely to exist we Azores , “taking into account the characteristics of the climate of the archipelago.”

    In Madeira, have been detected nearly 2,000 cases of dengue

  13. from Dnoticias Outbreak of dengue in the final number of cases and lower than expected.

    Trminou, a moment ago, the visit of Secretary of State for Health to Madeira. In the conference final, two messages were broadcast repeatedly: Madeira is a site where people can move safely, and the dengue outbreak that struck the island is in its final phase. This particularity with the number of cases have been far below what was expected.

    Francisco Jardim Ramos said that the ceiling was five thousand and so far only about 2000 people were infected.

    In recent weeks it has been registered a decrease of the activity of mosquitoes and the presence of eggs in the traps mines, this decline has been accompanied by a lower incidence of dengue cases. Last week only 18 cases were recorded.

    The national and regional entities have made it clear yet that there was an abandonment of combat and monitoring mosquito dectactado since it was in 2005.

    Paulo Macedo, Health Minister not only praised the work that has been done, but also expressed solidarity with the Republic for the region and assured that the wood remains a safe place for travelers.

    Now, he said, we must continue and monitor their fight for that next year the outbreak is less.

  14. Does anyone know if there have been any general supply problems with getting produce to Madeira recently? For example I normally by fresh milk (not UHT) but that doesn’t seem to of been available for the last couple of weeks.


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