Santa Cruz €10 million bank loan, Ferry losses, Rabacal in UNESCO, & other snippets

TODAY’S PHOTO : Thanks to Eiryl … that odd looking fruit that explodes into airborne cotton wool in the spring. I have no idea what it is called?

Front Page News : source Diário de Notícias 24/11/2008

The câmara (council) of Santa Cruz has had to go begging to it’s bank manager to borrow €10 million to pay and service its debts accumulated up until the end of 2007. The president of the câmara manages to put a good spin on the matter though, saying that he has secured a deal at around a 5% interest rate, compared to the 11 0r 12% they were paying before, saving around €500,000 in annual interest charges. Local businesses will no doubt be delighted that money due from 2007 is at last going to be paid, saving some from the edge of bankruptcy, whilst residents will no doubt be worrying about where the money for repayments will be coming from.

The ferry service that runs between Portimão, Madeira, and the Canary Islands is continuing to operate throughout the winter, but based on current booking levels it will be operating at a loss. Having been in operation 5 months now, the ferry has passed its ‘break even’ point to date, with August (8,700 passengers) being the best month. In contrast November’s bookings are down as low as 1,044 passengers. Each round trip costs the ferry owners around €52,000 in fixed costs. Madeiran’s are the biggest users of the ferry with 45% of boarders starting at Funchal.

That’s it from the front page, as the other stories are football (of course) and about the elections in Venezuela.

Other news :

The proposed cable car at Rabaçal is back in the news, with the announcement that the on-line petition against the project has now been submitted to UNESCO with 5,291 signatures (although the petition is still active).

Moving to the ‘Economy Section’ : A heart warming story, that was no doubt the highlight of the holiday for many tourists on-board the ‘Sea Pleasure’ catamaran, relates to the rescue of a trapped turtle nearly 4 kilometres from the coast of Ribeira Brava. The young Caretta Caretta (common turtle) was spotted tangled up in fishing nets by the crew and tourists, and a detour was made to make the rescue adding an additional 30 minutes to the trip. The skipper of the catamaran said that the turtle was slightly injured from it’s struggles to free itself, but was lucky to be alive in that he was trapped above the water and hence able to breathe.

A new ‘chain store’ furniture shop has opened in Funchal, specialising in modern furniture, textiles, lighting etc. The shop, ‘Opostos’, is the first presence on Madeira for a brand that is currently operating in the Portuguese, Spanish and French markets.

As part of a European wide pollution reducing initiative, CMF and the bus company Horários do Funchal are planning on introducing a ‘non polluting’ bus service between Funchal centre and Praia Formosa (far west Funchal).


I heard on the radio this morning someone saying that the new series ‘Flor do Mar’ on TVI was unrealistic. The scenery seems realistic enough, however there was even a scene in Ribeira Brava in last nights episode where an old guy got really beaten up by a gang wearing balaclavas, and that was unrealistic, as I have never seen a balaclava here. As for the rest, there was domestic violence, men having affairs, and a dog that was poisoned … thankfully nothing realistic there? Still not seen my house though!


I noticed that somebody asked about Madeira’s elections on the forum recently. This is my understanding. There are 7 types of elections held here. They are:

Election of the President of the Republic of Portugal

Election of the President of RAM

Election of European MPs

Election for the regional assembly of Madeira

Election for the parliament of the republic

Local elections (Câmaras – Municipal Councils)

Local elections (Freguesias – Parishes)

Anyone know any different?

Aside from your valued blog responses (you can reply direct using the form at the bottom of each blog comments page), please send any unreported Madeira news, topical photos, events information, or snippets for the madeira4u blog to – anyone can join in! Thank you!

10 thoughts on “Santa Cruz €10 million bank loan, Ferry losses, Rabacal in UNESCO, & other snippets”

  1. If anyone goes to the store, please let us know if it is reasonable in price and quality. I have yet to see a decent store in Madeira and am thinking I will need to ship furniture from the UK when our house is eventually built.

  2. 'IZI' is at Caminho do Poço Barral, Impasse 2
    Santo Amaro, Santo António 9000-155 Funchal Tel.: 291 721 080 there is a website at with the xmas catalogue

    Feedback has been good Viv. Sam wrote a long report when it opened on the blog, should be around 24th October.

  3. "A new 'chain store' furniture shop has opened in Funchal, specialising in modern furniture, textiles, lighting etc. The shop, 'Opostos', is the first presence on Madeira for a brand that is currently operating in the Portuguese, Spanish and French markets"

    I think this is the store both Viv and I are asking about.

    Do you have any particulars?


  4. Sorry, I realised when I was half an hour into my afternoon walk that's what you meant. Opostos is in 'Galerias Jardins da Ajuda' I couldn't find a website though.

    Correct Jeanne, thanks. Botanical name tomorrow.


  5. Hi Ellen, I think it is in a little shopping centre, just before you get to forum shopping, oppisite the hairdress Angels, its near there if not in there….

    Been cold and wet this side today, and its snowed upstairs again ive been told..

    Wheres vic these days??? Have you seen the water feature Vic by cafe Jardim in caniço, its never worked , and they have tried so many times , now they have filled it with soil, to plant plants, must be one of the most expensive flower beds on the island. It seems this island is good at building things that dont work.


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