Monte Tree Fall Ruling Today

PSD-M Prepares for Early Elections

Newspapers anticipate Monte Tree Fall Ruling Today

Monte tree fall decision today

The reading of the ruling in the case of the fall of a tree – the “Monte Tree Fall” – in the parish overlooking Funchal, which caused 13 deaths and dozens of injuries in 2017, takes place today, with a former vice-president of the council and the person responsible for the gardens being accused. The reading of the ruling is scheduled for 2:15 pm at the Central Criminal Court of the Madeira District Court, in Funchal.

On August 15, 2017, during religious ceremonies in honour of the Assumption of Our Lady, a festival also known as the Day of Our Lady of Monte, the patron saint of Madeira, in one of the most popular festivals in the archipelago, an oak tree believed to be approximately 150 years fell on the crowd waiting for the procession to pass. The Monte tree fall caused 13 deaths (two of which were foreign citizens, French and Hungarian nationalities) and around 50 people injured.

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The investigation resulted in the constitution of the then vice-president of Funchal City Council, Idalina Perestrelo, with responsibility for the Urban Environment, Green and Public Spaces, and the then responsible for the municipality’s gardens, Francisco Andrade, as defendants. The two are accused of committing, in material authorship, 13 crimes of negligent homicide, also responding to 24 crimes of harm to physical integrity through negligence.

During closing arguments, on January 10, the Public Prosecutor’s Office admitted that there were “divergences” among the experts heard in the trial, considering that they expressed “different” positions related to the causes behind the fall of the oak, and the collective “ put on the role of an expert of experts”.

To the collective, the former vice-president of the municipality declared that “never, not even in nightmares, would anyone have predicted something like this” and that “no concrete disease was identified at the roots”, pointing out that there was, “thus, a deficient branch ”.

PSD-M Prepares for Early Elections

The PSD-M is preparing for a scenario of early elections in May according to JM today. And the deadlines for the party’s direct meetings and congress will have the sole purpose of presenting a legitimized leadership even before Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa had the power to dissolve Parliament. 

Youth alcohol consumption spiralling

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The Diario once again focuses on the political crisis affecting Madeira, reporting on the end of the “CDS cycle”, with the departure of Rui Barreto, who has led the party in coalition for a long time. The centrist leader’s decision should be communicated to the party in the coming weeks, triggering the process of convening a congress scheduled for April. He also serves as regional secretary for Economy in the current regional/former government of Madeira.

With a photo taking up half their front page the Diario also reports that alcohol consumption among young people has doubled in one year. Prevalence soared in the social context of post-pandemic deconfinement in the summer of 2022, says Nelson Carvalho, in his analysis of the national report. Madeira leads the country in terms of mortality and severe drunkenness rates. Seems a little dramatic, and yes, alcohol remains cheap throughout Portugal, but consumption doubling in one year seems an awful lot of spend by these young people?

The same story appears in JM, but with a couple of differences, one being that it is “alcohol and drug” that are being consumed, and the other that the age group is up to the age of 18 – making their spending habits even more difficult to understand. The Diario also observes that the evolution of harmful behaviours associated with drinking alcoholic beverages has worsened in particular.

11 thoughts on “Monte Tree Fall Ruling Today”

  1. Let’s leave the ex/future Governor off the front page. Not a lot happening, headline the kids. I would like to know what last years consumption of alcohol was if it’s doubled this year. One glass of wine per day per youth, two glasses, a bottle a week, a day? Where did the information come from, how reliable is it? We get these stories but there’s never any checkable facts in them. Google, Portuguese National Report on Alcohol Consumption. Comes up with newspaper dated 2021. So perhaps it’s not a real serious problem after all.

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  2. Well this Monte tree decision it is a problem it seems no one is taking responsibility or even accountable for the accident and it is up to the council was the duty to keep a eye and maintain the trees and see if they are in good condition or not . And many councils around of the country in islands and mainland many times despite doing a good job maintain the woodlands and parks they should be paying more attention to the trees to avoid this type problems and accidents to happen again.

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    • Quite right Isabel. You obviously can’t get rid of trees, but they are such a potential liability. I was sat at a cafe a while back when a “leaf?” from a palm tree came down a couple of tables away – couldn’t believe the damage! The weight of the thing was amazing.

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      • Indeed the councils do what but sometimes isn’t enough they should do maintenance of the tree to see if there are any problems more frequently to avoid this type of problems . Where I live Sintra in a Cul-de-sac and my house is the last one of the street and where my hall garden finish there is land full of trees and one big eucalyptus that did that over two years to be taken down by Sintra Council and the people the council did contract neither they did kill the rot of the tree to not come back and take the big trunk of the tree away until this day .

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