The Diario is reporting an ugly bust-up between the drivers of a tourist bus and an off-road jeep after one blocked access to the popular Pico do Facho viewpoint above Machico (opposite) yesterday. The tour companies concerned are actually named in the article, together with registration number of the vehicle involved, The drivers apparently became involved in “severe verbal and physical aggression”, much to the alarm of 100 or so tourists reported to be at the mirador at the time. The police were called to the incident, which is hardly the best way to promote this generally most peaceful of holiday locations. Perhaps the tourist authorities should talk to these (presumably licensed) companies?
Portugal trade deficit and deflation
Portugal recorded the fifth largest trade deficit in the 28-member European Union between January and May, with a negative balance of €4.1 billion in international trade according to Eurostat today. Meanwhile the Telegraph reports that “Portugal has crashed into deep deflation……..markets were stunned by the sudden fall in Portugal’s inflation to -0.7 in July, from -0.2pc the month before”. Portugal’s public debt has jumped from 94pc to 129pc of GDP in three years. Full article here: http://tinyurl.com/pt5wstm
“Astronomy of Summer 2014”
The non profit making Amateur Astronomers Association of Madeira has organised three free sessions this week under the initiative “Astronomy of Summer 2014”
The first is tomorrow (20th) between 21:30 and 1:00 a.m. at Cais do Funchal (the main pier on the seafront), followed on Friday, May 22, at the same times, at Promenade do Caniço, and Saturday, again at the same times. at Chão da Lagoa , next to the north gate; These activities are targeted at a wide audience: www.astronomiamadeira.net .
Eight hotels insolvent
Following the demise of the Golden Gate and the Yacht Bar, the Diario reported last week that eight hotels on the island are insolvent, after Millennium BCP requested the insolvency of the company that owns the Madeira Palacio, due to accumulated debts of € 114 million. It is another episode in the impasse that has fallen in the work of renovation and expansion of the five-star hotel on the Estrada Monumental which should have been completed in 2008. The documentation shows that the two parties failed to reach agreement on funding for the completion of works. After judicial confirmation of the insolvency the most likely path is the company’s liquidation and sale of the property. This hotel opened in 1972 by American owners. Two years later it passed to a Portuguese company, hand was then sold in 2005 to Fibeira group, financed by BCP. At the end of the following year, the Madeira Palace closed for restoration and the construction of 112 new luxury apartments (Madeira Palace Residences). In November 2008 the works stopped for lack of funding. In April 2011, the bank give sufficient credit to finish the Madeira Palace Residences. In late 2012, the 112 apartments went on sale but became bogged down in a dispute – Fibeira apparently intended to sell the flats separately, while the BCP would rather sell them together with the hotel.
The Madeira Palacio is the eighth large or medium sized hotel to be the target of an insolvency proceeding or revitalization (pre-bankruptcy) courts in the region over the past two years. All have financial difficulties in common, with combined debts of more than € 227 million. However, the Palacio is the biggest in monetary terms. According to the Diario the other seven units involved in insolvency proceedings / revitalization since 2012 are: Regency Club, Regency Palace, Choupana Hills, The Lince, Quinta Jardim da Serra, Hotel Paul do Mar and Hotel Santa Catarina. The main creditors are BCP and BES. The Eden Mar is not included as incorrectly reported in other places (Editors note: Clarification 21.8.14 – It has been subsequently established that the “Hotel Mar” referred to previously is definitely not the Eden Mar – thanks to readers for clarifying this! Apologies if the blog has impugned the reputation of this successful hotel in any way).
Note: Sincere apologies to the Pestana Group – one of their hotels was mentioned in the original version of this blog in place of the Choupana Hills – this error has been corrected now.