TODAY’S PHOTO : Thanks to Sarah … Madeira’s famous ‘A’ frame houses at Santana
Front Page News : source Diário de Notícias 19/11/2008
The National Institute of Statistics has released it’s latest unemployment figures for Madeira; 5.8% for the 3rd quarter this year, down 0.3% from the previous quarter, and the lowest level for the last 7 quarters. According to the Bank of Portugal long term unemployment nationally is increasing, with many unemployed people waiting on average 2 years to find a new job, but the wait is less here on Madeira. Older people and those without qualifications are finding it particularly difficult.
Football on the front page yet again, this time with the excitement brewing ahead of the Brazil v Portugal fixture which kicked off at midnight last night, with Cristiano Ronaldo (captain) and Kaká, the two favourites for the title of best player in the world, meeting face to face. In the end Captain CR’s team cruised to a 6 – 2 defeat, so he must be smarting a bit this morning. The scoreline flattered Brazil for sure, but they took their scoring opportunities well. What a great start time for a football match though, should do that more often … except the bar I was watching it in closed at 1pm so I missed 15 minutes (and 2 goals) as I walked home during the second half.
Budget cuts for 2009 will hit the construction industry and developments on Madeira, as the regional government aims for immediate results rather than a progressive alteration of its economic model. However the projects that involves cement or concrete will actually increase in value by €26 million (8.4%). If I am not mistaken the government is the major shareholder of the cement works here … must be pure coincidence surely?
Consumer complaints are increasing due to poor service, lack of hygiene, and ‘receipts’ (I think that means failure to provide). So far this year 1,207 written complaints have been received, and 439 by telephone from savvy shoppers and consumers who are starting more and more to recognise their rights and how to defend them. This is generating more inspections of establishments for the responsible authorities. Poor hygiene leads the complaint list, with those found ‘guilty’ facing a minimum fine of €2,500. 276 complaints relate to damaged goods or problems within the guarantee period, and 159 are to do with lack of or misleading pricing.
Flor do Mar, the new soap series set on Madeira has taken the viewing ranking by storm with 3.6 million viewers tuning in at some time or another for the first episode on Monday night (50.9% market share of the channels watched that night). The Madeiran soft drinks brand ‘Brisa’ is to launch a new advertising campaign, based on the new series, to promote it’s products on the continent. I watched it again last night, and the scenery was fantastic, but I was rather surprised to see a bit of ‘country bumpkin’ stereotyping. This particular character had appeared briefly the night before, wearing the traditional farmers woolly hat and barely confident to utter a meaningful word, but last night ended up performing a mountain rescue. Political correctness obviously hasn’t yet arrived to the TVI producers … how refreshing!
Other news :
The rubbish workers strike is definitely called off, after an agreement costing €4.1 million secured the jobs of 101 workers in the processing facility in Meia Serra.
High demand for air travel to Madeira over the Christmas period has led to SATA, the Azores based airline, announcing 19 extra flights over the festive period. 16 will come from Lisbon, the other 3 from Ponta Delgada in the Azores.
Yesterday I mentioned a story titled ‘Punishment for those who instigate violence’, about politicians who say or do reckless things. It didn’t really have a strong basis or any conclusion, so it seemed a bit pointless until I read the paper the following day, and saw what it was really about. This is a rough translation of a comment that President Jardim made in Câmara de Lobos just over a week ago: “We govern, whilst they clean the dirt / grease, as is their standing”. The PS (socialist party) are making an official complaint, so I assume the comment was aimed at them or the opposition parties generally.
Martin emailed me recommending this web site for Portuguese recipes : http://www.gastronomias.com/receitas/index.htm
He recommends using the Google translator, to get them into English, and says that that will give you a good laugh as well as your chosen recipe. I just tried three recipes and was quite surprised that the translations were actually quite good, albeit with some amusement. I will be visiting again …
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