Government spending. Bananas trashed. Rainfall. CR7 again!

Fudging the figures

In recent weeks, the executive extended payment terms of 68 contracts and made 5 of settlement agreements.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?

Banana republic

Image of truck that moved to the Meia Serra.  Photo DRA 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".

Rainfall figures

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.

Ronaldo again…..

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!

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Weather/airport update.

Weather/airport update Monday 20.10.14

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Quick update on the situation at the airport today after the high winds overnight and throughout today – the weather couldn’t have chosen a worse day than Monday to disrupt travel. Firstly, don’t believe the new ANA website – the “Arrivals” page simply don’t match the information at the airport – which I experienced first-hand this morning. Flights that were due this morning were still being shown as expected on the website – in reality five of them had already diverted to Porto Santo, with subsequent flights turning back to Lisbon and others diverting mainly to Tenerife and, presumably when that was overloaded, Faro. Three other flights scheduled to arrive later in the day were cancelled – two back in the UK and one in Lisbon. Can’t speak for Departures, but again the website is full of “holes” – this morning people checking-in for Manchester were being told there was a small delay, while one floor beneath them the information board in Arrivals would have told them their plane was in Porto Santo! The screen-snap above was mid-afternoon, which shows how poor the information on the new website is.
Looks like the airport here is now (15.00) effectively closed for the day – at least this is what friends on one of the planes in Porto Santo have been told by the pilot of their flight – they are now waiting for a time-slot to move on to Tenerife for the night (I guess there simply isn’t enough spare overnight accommodation in Porto Santo?) before trying again tomorrow. Other contacts on a flight from Lisbon have been re-scheduled for later tonight, but this is with TAP, whose pilots tend to be better qualified to land in Madeira.

Update 17.00

A few flights now showing as arrived in the last few minutes, and a few “scheduled” times on further incoming flights tonight. Must be beginning to get back to normal, but not much happening on Departures – but I guess that’s difficult when all the planes are elsewhere! Looks like a total of 22 incoming flights never made it.

Update 23.00

Incoming flights look fine now, although the wind is picking up again. Very little information on outbound flights tomorrow morning!

Update 08.00 Tues

Looks like most of the flights from yesterday are now re-scheduled to land this morning from various stop-overs. 26 flights landing – hopefully – this morning before midday, with a similar number leaving before 14.00. There is still, however, a yellow weather warning (third on a scale of four) until midnight tonight due to a Portuguese Met Office forecast of very strong winds from the south with gusts of around 90 kilometres/hour, reaching 100 km/h from the middle of the afternoon.

Mini-tornado in Calheta

Just tagged on the photo Maurice mentioned on the last blog – taken 8.00pm last night

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New Calheta hotel. Airport exercises. Ronaldo record.

New Calheta hotel progresses

A recent visit to Calheta provided surprising evidence of the scale of the new Saccharum hotel being built at the eastern end of the seafront. I was aware of the project but not the size of the structure, or the rapid progress being made.

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The name apparently derives from the Latin for sugar cane, and the hotels very slick website provides more artists impressions of the finished job, which will provide 180 rooms, 5 suites and 30 apartments: http://www.saccharumhotel.com/en/

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There is a lot of work going on at the same time on the seafront adjacent to the marina – there is a photo of this on the blogs new Facebook page:

Military exercises at airport

Air defences were tested near the runway at Madeira airport yesterday and will be continued today. The story is a little vague in today’s Diario, but apparently exercises involve “Anti-Air Artillery”, including the surface-to-air Stinger system, being integrated with the existing radar system. Not quite sure who would invade Madeira in the near future, or perhaps it is part of Bertie’s plans to hang onto power for another few years.

Eurozone problems return

Eurozone fears have returned with a vengeance as deepening deflation across Southern Europe and fresh turmoil in Greece set off wild moves on the European bond markets – Greek yields have risen 3% in the last month reports the Telegraph

Superhero continues…………

Cristiano Ronaldo’s 95th-minute winner for Portugal in Denmark earlier this week was his 22nd goal in UEFA European Championship games, equalling the record as the competition’s all-time leading marksman. Meanwhile manager Carlo Ancelotti has Ronaldo as “guaranteed” another FIFA Ballon d’Or as the world’s best player award after he scored three goals for Real Madrid against a fellow Champions League side Athletic Bilbao, which made it 10 goals in his last six games in all competitions. UEFA list the 29-year-old Madeirans current records here – even if you are not a football fan his achievements are quite remarkable! A couple of days ago his Facebook site, started in 2009, passed 100 million followers

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