CR7 Museum move a step closer
The Diario reports that the much rumoured move of the CR7 museum has taken another step forward. According to a source close to the Government, agreement has already been reached for the collection of trophies and memorabilia to move to the former headquarters of APRAM next to the Wasps club (pictured below) – facing the old harbour, immediately beneath the top of Santa Catarina Park and the Governors official residence. The idea is apparently to the liking of Cristiano Ronaldo himself and resolves the use of the old building, which is currently unoccupied. Work could start in the near future as the structure will need quite a bit of modification. The location is, of course, ideal for the museum, as it will be directly on the route taken by so many cruise ship passengers as they walk into Funchal from the pontinha. By a strange coincidence it also faces the Praça do Mar, a not entirely successful project on the site of the old container port that has been repeatedly rumoured to be the possible home of a Ronaldo/Pestana funded boutique hotel
Presumably there will be room to host even more trophies – his latest award was the BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the year at the weekend.
Ex-PM in custody
“The Week” magazine from the UK (excellent publication by the way – you can download an App and get a free trial) reports that Portugal’s former socialist Prime Minister, José Sócrates, has been arrested and remanded in custody on suspicion of tax fraud, corruption and money-laundering. Three associates, including his driver and his lawyer were also arrested at the end of last month. He became PM in 2005 and was voted out in 22011 after negotiating Portugal’s €78bn bailout from the Troika. The magazine notes that it is not clear whether the allegations refer to his time in office.
The Diario also reports today that as many as 6000 people could be prevented from visiting Madeira at the end of this month as a result of the proposed strike by the twelve TAP unions (see previous blog). The company has seven daily flights to the region from Lisbon, and two from Porto (where easyJet have just announced two new connections to Stuttgart and Luxemburg from June next year). However, the airline had strengthened their operations during the month of December and would have provided at least 12 daily connections between the mainland and Madeira for the days of the strike. There have been no further developments on calling-off the strike as far as I can establish.
Not everyone has access to Facebook so I have replicated a photo from the blogs Facebook site that created a lot of interest recently. The cruise ship was leaving Funchal a week ago.
Speaking of social media, it appears that the much vaunted Facebook protest against the Christmas lights turned out to be an embarrassing failure. The organisers should be very careful that they do not damage the image of the island by publishing highly critical opinions before they see the finished project. A large part of this publicity centred on the claim that nearly 1000 Facebook users were planning to attend, but in the end only a handful showed up.
As reported here the lights have been a poorly managed effort this year, with a much smaller budget, but they have not been deserving of some of the near-hysterical reaction on social media that can adversely affect potential visitor’s opinion of an island that relies almost exclusively on tourism.