Breast cancer on the increase ; Hounded by the priests ; New parliament opens in Lisbon

TODAY’S PHOTO : Thanks to Jon … The Costa Luminosa leaving Funchal on 6th October.

madeira news blog 1009 jon costa luminosa funchal

"Manny Francis was not a church-goer. He did not like ministers and he especially did not like Roman Catholic priests. Manny fled Madeira to escape the Catholic Church. That seems clear. He became a Madeira Exile because Catholic priests were after his mother for money. The money was to pay for prayers to get her recently deceased husband out of Purgatory. Manny fled Madeira to get away from the priests he feared and circumstances he could not tolerate. When he came to Maine he changed his name to make it harder for Catholic authorities to find him. All his life he feared that priests would come looking for him. The two family traditions involving Manny corroborate each other on these points. They agree that Manny’s fear would seem to have been something ingrained in him, a part of his basic identity". WEIRD BUT INTERESTING

A quick look at the front page news from today’s Diário :

The Neighbourhood of Nogueira becomes more and more uncontrollable. The population is tired of the terror. After an assault on a fireman with a bottle on Saturday night, there is an upsurge in criticism about the scarcity of policing. Nogueira finds itself under siege. The Diário found ‘in situe’ an atmosphere that ‘one could cut with a knife’. Also the main photo on the cover, that  shows the remnants of the glass from the bottle used to attack the fireman. It seems that a Diário reporting crew ‘cruised’ the district of Nogueira after the dreadful attack on the firemen. The interview, mostly with a lady, revealed the same old trouble, unemployment, drugs, neighbours in dispute. The conclusion is that the neighbourhood has the air of a Latin American country.

Nacional trampled inside and out of the tunnel of ‘The Luz’ (Benfica’s stadium). The clash Jesus – Machado (the two managers) finished with Nacional’s manager recalling that an "idiot is an idiot", actually that coloured in red. Benfica 6 Nacional 1. Sod the Diário report, you get mine. An absolute disgrace of a game! I am not complaining about the result, it wasn’t unjust and could have been more if the linesmen hadn’t been alert to the offside rule, but the referee was absolutely dreadful, and I hope he has RSI strain from reaching into his pocket so many times for yellow and red cards. The Benfica Goal Machine got more and more superior as the game progressed, but they obviously felt inferior as they just dived and dived, in the end getting two Nacional players sent off. I have just returned from watching the game as I write this, with steam coming out of my ears, so a couple of beers  have put me in swearing mode, so here goes *!*!, and ##€€#*#. Sorry about that. That referee deserves a red card, and why Benfica had to put up such a pitiful act when they were clearly far superior is beyond me. At times I want to give up on football, and last night wasn’t helped by the fact that I watched the game in a local bar with around 20 other people. The other 19 were whooping for joy as the sixth goal went in against our local side. What a bunch of wet *!##*!, totally against their local team.   

160,000 tourists up until the end of the year – Madeira will receive in the last 3 months of this year 136 cruise ship visits, that will render receipts of €13.8 million. In November and December there will be just 12 days without cruise ships in the port of Funchal. In comparison, the first 9 months of 2009 brought 241,847 cruise ship visitors. 2008 saw a record 405,306 visitors, so this year will be close. If you want more detail about the ships, you will find the link on the right hand side of this page ‘Funchal Port – Cruise Ships’.

Sócrates demonstrates course asked for by Cavaco. A continuation of yesterday’s story (see below) about the initiation of the 18th assembly of the Republic of Portugal, and the fact that the new PS socialist government is to govern without an overall majority. I watched the ceremony on TV yesterday lunchtime, and it seems that national politics here make a clean break and start again from scratch, despite the fact that the same party is power as it was a month ago.

Thanks a lot to Elaine for a mammoth effort from yesterday’s news stories :

Update on attack on fireman. At 8 – 9 pm on Saturday evening, one person knocked on the door of the fire headquarters which is about 100 metres from the police station. The fire-fighter who answered the door was hit in the face and arm with a bottle, requiring several sutures, 20 in the face. The assailant fled but has been recognized and the police notified. The firemen were already feeling insecure in Camacha because of lack of manning at the police station and will only return when this has been rectified. There will be a meeting between the mayor, vice-president of the council and the Commander of the Fire Department, whose decision it is about the future of the fire department in the area. The local population is also feeling insecure after various incidents, often related to drug trafficking. They blame the police for deserting the area in 2007 although the BIR (Rapid Intervention Brigade) carry out daily patrols. On the radio news yesterday evening, it said that Santa Cruz council would not close the fire station in Camacha. Probably the right decision, but whether they can find any firemen willing to work there remains to be seen.Der.

Increase in benefits numbers. This year, there are more people on unemployment benefit  than receiving RSI. Unemployment benefit has increased in five of the past six months, from 6,329 in January to 8,685 in September. Compared to the official unemployment figures of 12,625, there must be 3,940 unemployed not entitled to state support. On average, each unemployed person receives 526.76 Euros compared to 462.57 in Portugal.

Later on, the Regional Secretary for Human Resources, Brazão de Castro, met with MEPs visiting the region and blamed the unemployment figures on the decrease in money transferred from Portugal, leading to decreased investment. The unemployment rate is lower than Portugal (8.1% opposed to 9.1%) or other European countries. He said the resources from the European Social Fund had all been spent and more was needed.

Cultural Centre in London experiencing difficulties. Portuguese Cultural and Sports Centre is facing financial and management difficulties. The 27th anniversary party had 180 in attendance at the church hall in Brixton, London. Difficulties are due to debts and departure of  people but there are plenty of young second-generation Madeirans volunteering, especially in using new technologies in promotion. They have six football teams, and a traditional music group who perform both in the UK and abroad. The London  ambassador to Portugal attended and said that language and cultural differences were barriers to full integration, and that all immigrants had to unite to overcome them. Online consulate’s services have helped to register births and marriages and issue cards to citizens.

Refusal of some health professionals to be vaccinated increases distrust of the Portuguese. The Director General of Health acknowledges the refusal of some health staff to be vaccinated against influenza A, the campaign starting today in Madeira.

Breast cancer on the increase. About 120 new cases annually, mainly in younger women. Recently there has been a noticeable increase in the western world, which is due to an actual increase in incidence rather than due to increased awareness and testing. It used to be unusual for breast cancer to be detected in women under 40 and it is thought this is due to modern lifestyle. The free Screening Programme started late, only 10 years ago, for women between the ages of 45 to 69. As well as the centre in Rua do Frigorifico in Funchal, there is a mobile unit for regional screening and another promised, partially funded by BES bank.

Traffic chaos in Cancela. The police were present on Sunday at the recently opened  DeBorla store and had increasing problems throughout the day trying to control hundreds of people accessing the store. There were many fines for illegal parking which made the ‘hunt for good prices’ visit more expensive.  —— I went to Friday’s opening and there were queues outside the store and traffic was busy then. Saturday morning was worse and the police were present and waving traffic on as the entrance is on the slipway to the motorway and the car park insufficient. There were people parking everywhere, and walking to the entrance and other shops was difficult. I think the local shops had an increase in trade and the drinks warehouse / shop next to the entrance doing well, especially as they had a whisky offer that day. It will probably quieten down or else they will have to rethink the access and parking, especially at Christmas. Other companies are interested in moving into the BrandImport Building and there is going to be a management meeting in November.

Fire destroys old home / workshop. A fire of unknown origin destroyed an old wicker workshop at a residence in Canto do Muro in Funchal. Although two fire crews attended, they could not save the building due to the presence of flammable material. Witnesses saw a bearded man dressed in a tracksuit fleeing before the flames appeared. The place has been disused for three years and is a residence for many drug addicts, who have broken down the doors replaced to try to prevent re-entry.


Negligence and marital conflicts are causes of some fires. Some people set their own homes on fire due to severe psychological pressure after a divorce or serious marital conflict. ‘If I can’t have it, no one can’ mentality. The two arrested were for car arson, one after an incendiary device. Most fires, both urban and forest, are due to negligence especially with an ageing population. Forest fires are often caused by land clearance or cigarette butts. Urban fires are caused by a forgotten pot on the stove or forgetting to turn it off before leaving, or falling asleep with a lit cigarette. Car fires are usually either due to the electrical system or battery.




"No one forces you to be here." "You are free to leave whenever you want." Jardim’s reply to the Representative of the Republic, Monteiro Diniz, after an article written by him in the Expresso newspaper. Diniz is tired of living in the region and is frustrated and feels helpless after the latest controversies in the region. The cases in the last election campaign, the insults in the Assembly, story of the Nazi flag (Coelho) and the violence. He believes voters can change the state of affairs, the animosity, and aggression around policy. But the problem is the electorate giving consecutive absolute majorities to the same party.

Jardim’s comments were given to hundreds present at the consecration ceremony for the new church at São Vicente. Jardim also said that the biggest mistake of Portugal was that too many institutions have fallen into neutralism whereas "I am not neutral on any issue, and if my government also supports the construction of these churches it is a democratic freedom, the right to religious freedom. And not just having rights written on paper." He criticized the Diário for publishing an article yesterday about substitutions in the health service and changes in the regional health plan. He said the newspaper would loose subscribers and advertising if it continued to print unconfirmed reports.

ANAM subscribes to social networking sites. Airports of Madeira disseminating information on Twitter, Face book and Linked In. Information about projects, new routes and frequencies, ‘Air Shopping’ and Greenway and My-way services.

11 Madeiran farmers sign a contract with Modelo Continente. Tomorrow at the supermarket in Machico, the farmers will sign a contract to provide agricultural products to the hypermarket chain and become part of the ‘Modelo Producers’ Club’.

XXXVI Edition of the Chestnut Festival. Centre of Nun’s Valley, Sunday 1st November from 09.00 to 22.00. Exhibitions of local produce, a parade, performances by folklore groups and cooking demonstrations by Yves Gautier and Carlos Magno.

In national news :

Ryanair launches Porto / Faro route today with tickets at 6 Euros. There are 160 passengers and the demand is better than other inaugural flights, with an average of 120 tickets sold.

5,700 people referred to Addiction Deterrence Committees in Portugal this year. In 2001, Portugal decriminalized the possession of illegal drugs for personal use, preferring to view the addict as a patient. The consumer, ordered by the police or courts, has to report to one of the 18 deterrent units. They assess the situation of each person and decide the most appropriate way to deal with the situation and may suspend fines if they accept treatment. —– No mention of previous years’ figures. Reported recently on the BBC World website, including a video interview. Many studies in the UK have concluded that there would be positive outcomes if a similar project was implemented in the country.

Cavaco stresses the importance of understanding between central government and the autonomous regions. At the inauguration of the second government of José Sócrates, Cavaco Silva the President of the Republic stressed the importance of dialogue and understanding between the central government and the autonomous regions of Madeira and the Azores. He said, "A culture of negotiation must be everybody’s responsibility."

Sócrates said, "The first priority is to combat the crisis. The recovery of our economy will be the central objective of governance." "The second priority will be the modernization of the economy and society, valuing knowledge, culture, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship." Citing renewable energy and compulsory education until the 12th year. "The third priority is social justice." Developing social policies and reducing inequalities. "This is our program: to govern for all the Portuguese, with special attention to those in need today of the welfare state, to mobilize the Portuguese society for a development strategy geared toward modernity and  the future."

Teixeira dos Santos inspires "very modest expectations."  The Regional Secretary for Planning and Finance, Ventura Garces said, "With a minority government, the Portuguese Government is expected to have a different position and a real dialogue with regional governments." But Teixeira dos Santos is still in the financial position in the Portuguese Government. As the regional budget is likely to be approved before the state budget, Ventura Garces is working on two scenarios. One is taking account of the current Regional Finance Act, the other regarding any proposed changes (Finance Act still being debated). The present Regional Government is trying to amend the act and recover lost funds from Portugal.

World Travel Awards elect Lisbon ‘the best city destination for cruise ships’. It was also ‘the best European destination’ and the ‘best European destination for a short trip’. Last year, Copenhagen was the best cruise port, and London the best destination in Europe.


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4 Responses to Breast cancer on the increase ; Hounded by the priests ; New parliament opens in Lisbon

  1. Martin L Tuesday, October 27, 2009 at 12:38 #

    Re the Benfica Nacional game. Sadly, diving and delibaretely encouraging opponents to commit a foul so that players get into trouble is as much a part of the continental game as being able to have good footballing skills. I watch the various Portugues league games regularly on TV and most of the players behave like a bunch of sissies if they get tackled or have the slightest physical contact. They fall over very easily. Then there is the constant childish appealing to the referee over some apparent injustice. Football in contental Europe is no longer a man’s game. It is dominated by childish theatrical over paid players who have completely forgotten the art of fast flowing, skillfull football. And I’m still daft enough to watch it!

  2. Martin L Tuesday, October 27, 2009 at 12:48 #

    Dot and I went to DeBorla on Sunday and joined the the mad throng in search of a bargain. My impression of DeBorla is as follows:
    Items of furniture eg office desk, bedroom stuff for children—cheap and chearful but dubious quality.
    Various tools and gardening equipment looked okay and there were some good prices.
    Plenty bargains in kitchen accesories such as dishes, cutlery, containers, pots, etc. Quality looked okay.
    Lots of Christmas decorations and trees seemed cheaper than elsewhere.
    Cheap packets of A4 paper for your printer.
    Various car accessories looked okay and is some cases the prices were good.
    The large drinks section immediately next door offered a varied choice of wines and spirits. In some cases it was slightly cheaper and in other cases it was no different from any of the supermarkets.
    If you need several household items it is probably worth the trip.

  3. Der Tuesday, October 27, 2009 at 13:17 #

    and I am daft enough too Martin, but I am over my strop now, and looking forward to the next farce.

    Thanks for the DeBorla tips too, but I assume there is nothing ‘de borla’?

  4. Sue Tuesday, October 27, 2009 at 15:43 #

    The parking was still mad yesterday when we came back from classes, with the police again in evidence. Sunday was terrible with parking down the hill towards Garajau. Put our nose in Saturday (found a lucky parking – otherwise would have turned around and gone back out) – as Martin L said some bargains Jacques noticed the extension lead with plugs was much cheaper but due to the throng we decided we didn’t need anything and it could wait until the excitement of a new shop was over!

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