The latest proposal from the regional government, reported in the press this week, is to “go it alone” in inviting tenders for a ferry service to connect the island to the mainland. This could simply be an attempt to save face, having made firm promises regarding the return of the ferry during the last regional elections. Perhaps politicians minds are turning to the next elections? Either way it is not likely to lead anywhere now that central government seem to have ruled out any subsidy.
A new online petition has started on http://peticaopublica.com Interestingly this petition is not calling for any subsidy other than exemption from port fees from the Port of Funchal for the first four years of operation.
Meanwhile the regional government is progressing with plans for the extension of the existing Molhe da Pontinha (the outer wharf) and controversial new “Pier 8” which is not always usable in heavy seas.
EU bank rescue plans tested
Interesting times for the EU, as their new bank rescue plans are tested for the first time. Yesterday in Spain Banco Santander, which rescued Banif here a couple of years ago, has agreed to buy domestic rival Banco Popular for the nominal price of €1 after EU authorities declared the Madrid-based lender “failing or likely to fail”.
The deal marks the first test case of the Eurozone’s post-crisis bank bailout regime. It means Popular’s shareholders and junior bondholders will be wiped out, though senior debt holders are protected. The FT points out that at the height of the financial crisis, the haphazard rescues of several mid-sized Eurozone banks helped spark a run of national bailouts that nearly broke apart the EU’s common currency. This included BES, now Novo Banco, in Portugal. Novo Banco itself is still not out of the mire, with fresh rumours and allegations appearing in the press regularly.
Under the new regime, the European Central Bank’s recently created bank oversight authority, the Single Supervisory Mechanism, stepped in on Tuesday evening to declare that Popular was “failing or likely to fail”. Interestingly Santander Totta, the Portuguese subsidiary of Santander, is expected to benefit from the take-over, as Popular had significant activity in mainland Portugal which will be merged into their operation.
Came across a very positive blog recounting a visitor’s first trip to the island; “I absolutely loved Madeira and would go back in a heartbeat”. Written by a self-proclaimed “British chick in my thirties” it takes an slightly different slant on the island.
Finally………a zero-star hotel
Nothing to do with Madeira, which has some of the best five-star hotels in Europe, but he BBC are carrying a story on a zero star hotel in Switzerland, where you can book a room without walls….