TODAY’S PHOTO : Thanks to Tobi … a rather attractive looking bug, seen out wearing his best waistcoat. I can’t believe I just called a bug attractive!
Front Page News : source Diário de Notícias 18/11/2008
The good news of yesterday was that the two day rubbish strike is probably on the way to being cancelled, as the fear of hundreds of tons of rubbish lying around Madeira brought government officials, company, and workers together in a late attempt to resolve matters. In one sentence the article implies that the dispute was resolved, and in another that the strike “can” be annulled, so 100% certainty is not quite there, but it sounds hopeful that the workers will accept whatever was offered.
The budget for Madeira for 2009 has now been delivered to the legislative assembly, and at €1,505 million is €44 million short on last year (or what was requested, it is not clear). The secretary for Planning and Finances says that this is a “restrictive” budget, very much due to the international financial crisis. Education and health will be the biggest beneficiaries with around 60% of the allocation. Also business tax receipts will be reduced by up to 20%, as a series of measures are introduced to support companies. Debt servicing will take another €78 million from the budget. There is a lot more detail, but financial articles contain a lot of technical words and jargon that don’t appear in my dictionary, so I am not going to attempt any more.
The new novela (soap opera) gets an airing, with a lot of people excited, or even anxious, to see to see what it is all about. Some people are keen to see how Madeira looks on TV, others are watching to get a glance of people they know involved, and others just like soap operas. Me, I just want to see my house from one of those arial shots. To be fair, these novelas are more like mini series, as they don’t involve groups of people sitting around in a pub, and there is action and a proper and interesting storyline in most of them. The first episode involved a robbery, a separate shooting, a women being attacked and thrown off a ship, as well as some of the more traditional stuff we expect to see on Madeira, like a festa and a funeral, and some fantastic scenery.
The other article is headlined ‘Punishment for those who instigate violence’. The use of barbaric language to incite violence (implicit or explicit) is more a form of pressure than a crime itself, in the opinion of two specialists consulted by the newspaper, and for that reason people should not be allowed to say what ever comes into their head. The article mentions both the language of President Jardim and the unveiling of the nazi flag in the ALM as examples of what can cause violence … but there is no solution arising from what the article concludes?
Other news :
Giving up smoking is on the up, and with professional help available from the Hospital dos Marmeleiros, Centro de Saúde do Bom Jesus (Funchal) and the Health Centre in Câmara de Lobos. 3,500 people took such counselling in the first 6 months of this year in sessions that are open to “all the population”, compared to 4,500 for the whole of last year. You may need to learn Portuguese before attending these sessions of course, so make your first appointment for about 10 years time.
Not a pretty picture for last weekend’s traffic analysis, with one dead, 2 seriously injured, 6 injured, and 32 road accidents. More that a third of the 32 accidents happened in Funchal on Saturday.
On Sunday police detained a 24 year old man believed to be responsible for a number of assaults or robberies on tourists on the Levada dos Tornos. He was caught shortly after another assault, in possession of a rucksack belonging to his victim. He is a drug addict resident in Funchal. Good news then if the levada(s) are once again safe, just like last year I remember, but in that case the mugger retired.
One of the subjects due for debate in the regional parliament soon is the creation of a regulating authority to ensure true competition between companies. The body will be independent of regional government once it is established. I wonder whether it will be able to also regulate the fair awarding of government contracts and in particular ‘favourable relationships’, hence enabling fair competition all the way down the line. Anyway, nice to see government starting to take seriously European competition laws that have been around since the beginning of the millennium, and it is a little surprising that this comes up as a regional initiative rather than through Lisbon.
Great result for the Portugal under-21 football team last night, beating Spain 4 – 1. The national side plays away to Brazil tonight, where a victory would be a miracle (on TVI, channel 4, 11.50pm)
This has nothing to do with Madeira, but this is a really clever card trick performance and well worth a look.
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