TODAYS PHOTO : Thanks to Tobi … a great photo and a final reminder of this month’s flower festival
Source : Diário de Notícias 24/4/2008
Having typed it out and got it all ready, I lost everything for todays blog … so I am having to do it again from memory, but only two top stories.
The first one is about the new labour laws which were announced on Tuesday by the Portuguese Government. Seemingly designed to improve the lot of employees, it in fact in places works the other way, making it easier to fire people who do not adapt to change / technology. It also gives more support to working parents, and allows for more flexibility in the schedule of a worker. Social security payments will rise for companies employing staff on term contracts, holidays stay at a minimum of 22 days but can be increased to 25 for the reliable workers. Anyway, it’s all causing a lot of controversy.
TAP (Portuguese airline) surprised the travel industry by anouncing ‘budget prices’ on it’s Madeira routes, well for 20,000 passengers anyway. For those who are residents, it’s theoretically possible to travel for €1 plus all the taxes and extras, taking into account the Madeira residents subsidy. In reality, all the added charges mean you will more likely pay €90 net if you qualify. This is all in aid of the ‘clear skies’ agreement which is now in effect, and effectively disables TAPs 50+ year monopoly on the Madeira route. TAP have pledged to maintain the services currently operated despite the threat of increased competition, and have set themselves a target of a 36% increase in passengers from last years 700,000+
Also mention of a Porto to Madeira route, and confirmation of the flights already known about to Paris (shared code), London (7 flights a weeks), and Madrid (weekly). They will be operating 218 Madeira connections a week over the coming months.
SATA (the Azores based airline) not to be outdone, also announced a not quite so stunning deal (no details given), but gave details of a scheduled flight planned from Madeira to the Canary Islands (Gran Canaria, Las Palmas) starting this July.
All offers are available through the internet and travel agents for both TAP and SATA. Links on the ‘Travel / Flights’ page on the madeira4u website.
We now have an advertising taxi driver on the main website now, so please give ‘Rafael Taxi’ a go, and mention madeira4u when booking (if he knows where the bookings originate, he is more likely to look after you, and renew his advertisement next year) – many thanks!
I am sure you will all be waking up this morning thinking ‘ah! Revolution Day!’ ‘cos we have a feriado here today (public holiday) to celebrate, though blog writers work as normal of course. Portugal lost it’s monarchy nearly 100 years ago and became a republic before falling into dictatorship in 1926. That situation lasted until 34 years ago exactly, when the army overthrew the dictatorship. Last night I asked a local dignatory whether life was better or worse on Madeira since 1974, and she replied it was much better until about 10 years ago, and now it’s got worse.
She also let me have a look at her budget book, so a quick flick to the Rib. Bra. section revealed that for 2008 a staggering €3.8 million! has been allocated to the existing sport stadium here … which she was very quick to point out came from the regional government, not from local taxpayers. Funny thing football here, it’s practically all funded through government (tax payers money) and all the league clubs get generous handouts and all make huge financial losses. Of course Nacional and Marítimo get the most, but it’s rumoured that Marítimo get even more because that’s President Jardim’s favourite team.
Anyway, I strayed a little … so what goes on on Revolution day now you ask? Aside from the previously mentioned biggest ever ski jet event in Funchal bay which starts today and lasts until Sunday, it’s also a big musical weekend. Tomorrow night in São Martinho is a big music dance festival with internationally recognised DJs, so I won’t be doing that one.
More interesting is the ‘Antena 3 on tour’ event on Calheta beach tomorrow night (Antena Três being a nacional radio station). This event will only have Madeiran DJs, but the Madeiran group ‘On Mute’ will also be playing, and that’s just a warm up for the main attraction BLASTED MECHANISM, one of the best known groups in Portugal.
If you are over that way go and have a look, as they are very visual (they all dress up as aliens on their video’s). It’s a sort of middle rock genre so it’s not too heavy … and don’t forget to send me a picture.
Aside from your valued blog responses, please send any unreported Madeira news, photos, events information, or snippets for the madeira4u blog to firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!