Ferry latest. EU bank rescue. New blog.

Ferry latest

Ferry in Funchal horbourThe 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

One Euro coinInteresting 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.


Screen snap of Madeira blog

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….

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Ronaldo. Golden Gate. Atlantic Festival.

Ronaldo again…….and again

Ronaldo with family after Champion's League triumph

Ronaldo reached another milestone in his glittering career tonight, scoring twice as Real Madrid won the European Champions League, beating Juventus 4 – 1. This was the Madeiran’s fourth Champion’s League winner’s medal and took his career tally of goals to 600 (104 in the Champion’s League). He also became the first footballer to score in three Champion’s League finals. Ronaldo’s former United boss Sir Alex Ferguson presented the CR7 with the man-of-the-match award.

Ronaldo and mother Delores

He is  pictured above with his brother Hugo Aveiro, partner Georgina Rodriguez and son Cristiano Jr. His proud mother Dolores Aveiro was also in attendance. Must be nailed-on for a fifth Ballon d’Or as the world’s best footballer. Love him or hate him I have always had an affinity for him since assisting the New York Times research his remarkable history in June 2014

Golden Gate delay

Golden Gate cafeIt always seemed ambitious that the Golden Gate café would be open for the end of May, which duly did not happen as the owners had confidently predicted – reported in a previous post. The schedule has now moved to the end of this month. The renovation costs must be a fraction of the astronomical purchase price, so quite why they are behind schedule is not clear – ship and ha’porth of tar comes to mind.

Atlantic Festival

The Atlantic Festival kicked off tonight – full program as usual below…
(use Ctrl + and – to zoom in and out)

Atlantic Festival logo

Atlantic Festival program 1

Atlantic Festival program 2

One of the early photos from tonight’s display from RTP Madeira
RTP photo of Atlantic Festival

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New developments. Ribeira de Santa Luzia

Santa Maria

OPld Santa Maria hotelMore signs of increasing activity in the tourist sector have emerged recently, and there seems no end to the increase in the number of hotel rooms and apartments that are coming onto the market, particularly in Funchal. The latest hotel renovation to be announced concerns the landmark Santa Maria in the centre of  Funchal, with a perfect location halfway between the “old” and “new” parts of the city, on Rua João de Deus. The hotel opens it’s doors next year under the name of “Turin Santa Maria Hotel”. As the name implies this is an investment by the Turim Hotels Group, which has 18 hotels on the mainland, 11 of them in Lisbon.

Artists impression of new Santa Maria HotelThe group has acquired the old Santa Maria hotel, which closed around eight years ago – a building that dates from 1964, which will be completely refurbished to look something like the artists impression opposite. The new hotel will have 100 rooms and is expected to be rated 4-Star. An investment of about €10 million is being made on the project.

Pestana Casino Studios

Pestana Casino Studios

At the other end of town Pestana are undertaking another project on what was a car park alongside the Casino Park Hotel. The “Pestana Casino Studios” is in another ideal location, just at the top of Santa Catarina Park, above the Casino/Congress on the Avenida do Infante. Apparently the €3.5 million development is what is termed a “multimodular” design, which takes about a third of the construction time compared to a traditional hotel. As a result there will be 77 rooms operating from as soon as September this year.
In an another ambitious worldwide expansion, Pestana plans 22 new hotels over the next 4 years in 8 countries. This will add 4,000 rooms to the existing stock, with more than 110 hotels and 15,000 rooms in 21 countries.

Ribeira de Santa Luzia

Ribeira de Santa LuziaStill on a construction theme it has been announced that €3.8 million will be spent on the final section of the Ribeira de Santa Luzia. The “reconstruction and regularisation” of one of the channels that famously could not cope during the floods of 2010 will cost €1.9 million this year and has a budget of the same again next year. It does seem like a lot of progress has been made on this project recently, but this could be due to some of the screens coming down.

Ferrari 360 to be auctioned in Machico

Ferrara 360The Diario reports that a Ferrari 360 Challenge model is to be auctioned by the tax authorities in Machico with a starting price of €12,078 euros. If it stays at this price it will be something of a bargain as there are identical models of  the same year (2003) on sale for more than €200,000. Any of our more prosperous readers have until August 31, to submit their bids on the electronic auctions page of the Financas portal. The sale of the Ferrari follows a process of execution in connection with a partner of the aviation company Fly Mi,

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