Fudging the figures
The Diario today reports that the Regional Government of Madeira under Alberto João Jardim continues to “spend now, pay later” – effectively leaving debts unpaid for the next generation to settle. Apparently the total spent in this manner has gone up by €64 million in the past four months alone, primarily using two techniques.
The first involves the extended payment terms of 68 contracts or investments. For example in July the channelling project at Ribeira da Madalena do Mar, was committed at a cost of around €8.4 million, but the contractor (Afavias) is aware that this year they will receive only €900,000, with the ‘bulk’ of the payments will only being collected in the years ahead. Payment dates vary on each contract – one service contract awarded to electricity company Emacom will only be paid off in 2034. The second method used to defer payments is debt settlement agreements (ARD) with contractors for work already performed – some of these as far away as 2019 and 2020. The bottom line is that whichever party wins the elections next year and takes over government, they will inherit liabilities from the last years in office of the current executive. And Portugal is supposed to be in an “Adjustment Program” after the bail-out?
A truck full of bananas in good condition (pictured) was spotted heading for the waste treatment plant at Meia Serra at the end of last week, causing some controversy. Miguel de Sousa, candidate for leadership of the PSD/Madeira, is describing it as a scandal “to throw out …..good bananas when so many people are without money to buy one banana”. He does not understand why “the government pays for the product then throws it in the garbage” (subsidies are paid to grow the bananas) and says it is imperative to stop the waste and offer bananas to people in need, or to hospitals and charities. He claims that the practice of throwing them away could belong to “some banana republic".
The rainfall figures for the period when the red warning was in effect on Sunday show that twice as much fell in Porto Santo as in Madeira.
The most extreme figures for Porto Santo island were 9.5mm of rain falling in a 10 minute period (20,4mm / 30min and 30,5mm / 1h). The weather stations in Madeira that recorded the most significant amount of rainfall were Pico do Arieiro (5.9 mm / 10min and 18.9mm / 1h) and Chão do Arieiro (13,4mm / 30min ). There are a total of 17 weather stations across the two islands.
Following up on a story a couple of blogs ago, Ronaldo’s record breaking run continued at the weekend when he broke a 71 year old record for the Spanish “La Liga” by taking his goal-scoring run to 15 in just 7 games. One of the newspapers calculated that at the current rate, if he played every possible game this season, he would score 101 goals!