Driving laws change, €2m misspent, Summer tourism policing, Interest rates up, etc.

TODAY’S PHOTO : The three new additions to the municipal gardens in Ribeira Brava. This was the only angle I could get, as they kept diving under mother when I got too close. You won’t get many chances to see Peacock chicks on Madeira, so pop in if you are nearby. The white one looks a bit out of place … maybe it’s an albino?

Front Page News : source : Diário de Notícias 3/7/2008

Excessive speed and drink driving are the most common driving offences that result in the suspension of driving licences for Madeirans (no surprises there then!), but compared to Portugal as a whole the convictions are lower. From this Sunday, according to new changes in the Highway Code, any driver that has 3 serious breaches of the code, or 5 medium breaches within a period of 5 years will have their licence suspended for a minimum of 2 years, as well as other sanctions such as fines. As well as excessive speed and drink driving (0.8 g/l), serious offences include failing to stop at signs and when instructed to do so by the police, and failure to use lights in the prescribed manner.

A counsellor in Porto Santo is to be tried for the crimes  of accounting fraud(?), defamation, damage, housebreaking, and theft. All he needs now is a corruption allegation, and he has the complete set of qualifications to become a senior politician.

In a political story referred to as ‘Jackpot’, the government is being pressured to refund €2 million acquired in 2006, after an audit of monies received in  subsidies was deemed to have been spent inappropriately. There may also be fines imposed.

The main front page story is about the provision of summer activities for children, but I think the Diário has already covered this several times. In an effort to obtain news, the Diário does repeat it’s stories regularly, which is a bit annoying as I have to end up ploughing through the same stuff again only to find that nothing new has been included.

Other News :

Controversy over car parking in Ribeira Brava, as the council (Câmara) marches on with it’s quest to paint blue lines all over the town to make everyone pay to park their car wherever they may be. The free spaces outside the health centre have now ‘turned blue’, meaning that your ‘free’ medical treatment may now have a cost.  Local businesses are complaining about the fact that the changes are discouraging customers, and a petition is being created to highlight the issue. The charges for the ‘out of town’ spaces have also just doubled from 25 to 50 cents per hour, although looking at some of the parking meters the tariff table hasn’t yet been changed.

During the last weekend SPAD (Society for the Protection  of Domestic Animals) received 34 stray animals, bringing the total to 313 for the month of June (250 in June 2007). The high figures are partly blamed on the holiday season, where pet owners would rather put their animals into the street than pay for a kennel during their holidays.  The funding deficit from Funchal Council (since last February) has now been paid to SPAD, since it was highlighted in the newspaper at the weekend.

In a new campaign that translates roughly as ‘Police always present – Summer in Safety’, around 20 police officers will be on street patrol every night in Funchal until 15th September. The exercise will focus on the areas frequented by tourists, both for accommodation and when going out, and is hoped will increase the feeling of security for Madeira’s visitors.

TAP (Portuguese Airline) is to carry out a 6 month trial that will allow passengers to use mobile phones on board when in flight. The experiment will involve the installation of a GSM network inside the Airbus A319, which will contain the signal within the passenger cabin. This will make TAP one of the first airlines in the world to offer this ‘extra’.

The European Central Bank raised it’s interest rates to 4.25% on yesterday.

Anyone know who won the Atlantic Festival (the fireworks competition that ran on Saturday nights last month). I haven’t seen anything in the newspaper yet.


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5 thoughts on “Driving laws change, €2m misspent, Summer tourism policing, Interest rates up, etc.”

  1. The white one may well be albino, there are a couple of those in amongst the normal ones at the Botanical Gardens in Funchal.
    I have asked around re Atlantic Festival but nobody appears to know as yet!

  2. Italy won the competition, and i think the white peacocks are just a different breed, there are quite a few in the botanic gardens

  3. all the peacocks here are the normal colour until this one popped up Tobi. Or, are you the opinion that the almost flightless mother bird legged it over to Funchal BG for a quick how's yer father with the other breed. Did Italy do the classical display or the love songs? After last years fiasco, I had better start planning this new year myself.

  4. lol, Italy were the first display , but everyone who saw all the displays has told me poland were the best, so they were suprised Italy won, must be another back hander from somewhere…


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