Carrier bags, Global warming,Garajau beach, Tax dodgers beware, and other snippets!

I STILL HAVING TECHNICAL PROBLEMS WITH THE BLOG, BUT THE FAULT IS INTERMITTENT, SO TRY 2 OR 3 TIMES IF NEEDED AND IT SHOULD COME UP TO READ – MEANWHILE I AM STILL TRYING TO GET THE PROBLEM FIXED – APOLOGIES AGAIN. Der

TODAY’S PHOTO : Thanks to Wil … this is a Trumpet fish pictured during one of Wil’s diving expeditions off the Madeira coast.

Main News : source : Diário de Notícias 7/6/2008

Front page yesterday was a picture of a football pitch … today it’s a football pitch with two Portuguese players … now there’s a surprise!

Pingo Doce is saving 55,000 plastic carrier bags in Madeira a day since it brought in it’s €0.02 charge 4 months ago. In continental Portugal the usage of bags given by PD reduced between 50 and 60%, but on Madeira the reduction is an amazing 80%. I saw a man in PD one day and he refused to pay for a bag and ended up carrying (and dropping) about 20 items. I wonder how many shopping baskets PD have had nicked though?

Other News : 

The Diário discusses the risks for tourism due to global warming problems, saying that higher temperatures will discourage those tourists who go in search of an agreeable climate. It claims that the temperature in Funchal is climbing 0.6ºC each year, and that sea levels will rise by up to one metre by the year 2100.

The beach and facilities at Garajau reopened to the public yesterday, after the clean up and repair work needed after April’s storm damage was completed. The cable car is still out of operation though.

School classes finished for many youngsters on Friday, and now it’s more or less 3 weeks of exams for those about to go out into the adult world.

There are 6,000 lucky people in and around Calheta that will from this month be able to pay their water bills in much the same way as the other utilities. They will be able to take their bill to the Post Office (CTT), or pay at a multibanco (ATM) or through the internet. I hope one day this will reach my town, but I am not holding my breath. How do people manage who have holiday homes here and may not be present for months on end? I assume the bills just pile up and get paid when they return, as I don’t think there is any policy for cutting off the water here.

The IRS or tax authorities in Portugal are launching a new computer system next week which will identify individuals and entities that have not paid their dues in IVA (VAT) and income tax. The system seems to be principally aimed at those who have collected monies or deductions from others but have not paid them in to the IRS. Those who are quick and pay their dues before the new system goes live will escape the huge penalties or possible 3 years in prison that they will face if caught, and already 10,000 ‘debtors’ have coughed up €48 million to avoid that

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I mentioned recently that it became illegal for utility companies to charge ‘standing charges’ for meter hire, and I notice that my gas supplier is already complying. However when I got my water bill last week, that still had  a meter hire charge … I guess that’s no surprise as it comes from the Câmara (council), and they normally think that they are above the law.

Ribeira Brava now has a wheelchair access ramp that goes from the swimming pool area right the way into the sea. That wasn’t a local initiative I know … it looks like European legislation is creeping into Madeira, albeit  very slowly. As it looks quite comfortable, I am expecting to see it covered with towels and sunbathers very soon!

Has anyone taken one of the CaboTV ‘Zon’ packages, that include TV, internet and telephone? I had a look on their website yesterday and the prices look pretty good compared to what I pay them now, albeit they are heavily discounted for the first year.

Another message from Robert (the paw-paw fruit enthusiast) who lives in Qatar, who wishes to reassure us that we are not the only ones being hit hard by the increases in petrol … “Thought you might be interested …. The price of fuel in Qatar has risen to 0.14 Euros per litre (petrol).”

Anyone got any nice pictures from last nights fireworks display, pretty please?

Finally, in case anyone missed it, Portugal won easily 2-0 in it’s first game in the Euro 2008 against Turkey.

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6 thoughts on “Carrier bags, Global warming,Garajau beach, Tax dodgers beware, and other snippets!”

  1. Hi Der, i hope people dont let their water bills pile up, because i think if you pay late they add 40% to the bill, i dont know if its different in other areas. Our water bill used to be between 3 and 5 euros a month, now its between 10 and 12, so a 40% fine for late payment will start hurting
    –Tobi

  2. I don't think that works over this way Tobi. Our council takes on average nearly 3 years to pay it's bills, so perhaps they feel a little hipocritical about penalising others (but I doubt it!)
    –Der

  3. I don't think that works over this way Tobi. Our council takes on average nearly 3 years to pay it's bills, so perhaps they feel a little hipocritical about penalising others (but I doubt it!)
    –Der

  4. In Calheta they add about 1 centimo per week for late paying the water bill. On a bill that is already 3 or 4 euros per month, it is a great hardship!!! Delighted to hear that bills will now be able to be paid by the more normal methods than having to run down to the Camara at the times they decide to be open to pay just a few euros. Very sensible!
    –Andrew

  5. Dear Blog
    I have asked for the price to travel from Portimao to Funchal on the Car Ferry Service in July.

    One way, 2 passengers, double cabin and one car is priced at 400 Euros.

    That is a very good price, I believe.

    I reckon we might visit next time by this method.

  6. Thats a good price if your coming to stay in madeira, but if not how much is it for a return?

    it would surely work out cheaper to fly and hire a car???
    –Tobi

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