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.:
”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”.
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”.
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