Today’s photo – thanks to Der … Another one of those old bus photos I started showing some months back. I must emphasise that it is a photo of a photo, and I was not actually around to take this shot many years ago.
Many thanks to Elaine (East) for these website links :
The Rede – traditional transport now for hire in Funchal. HERE
The Classical Orchestra, OCM, has a new website with an English version. HERE
Many thanks to Paul for this interesting piece and the link to the WSJ video:
The socio-economic and employment situation in Madeira. Over the past decade, Madeira has seen dynamic economic growth with GDP per capita in 2003 reaching 90 % of the EU-25 average – above that of most of mainland Portugal.
Much of this growth has been driven by the increasing importance of the services sector in the economy, including real estate and tourism services, which complement more traditional industries such as agriculture and fishing. While in the past Madeirans would emigrate to find work, economic growth has largely reversed this trend and today the region has generally lower unemployment by Portuguese standards.
Employment also grew by 5 % in the decade up to 2004, in particular in the 25-44-year age group. Growth in the services sector has contributed to rising levels of female employment that reached 41.8 % in 2004, although this remained below the EU target of 60 % then. Education levels are also improving. Between 2000 and 2003 the number of workers without basic qualifications fell to 8.6 % and those with basic, secondary and higher levels of education all increased. This feature is due to earlier investments in the education and training system in Madeira.
However, among job-seekers, 3 in 4 of them have less than a secondary level of education. The number of long-term unemployed has been stable at around one-third of the total unemployed. Madeira is making extensive efforts to develop its economy and private sector in ways that capitalise on the particular advantages the region can offer, including by making significant infrastructure investments even though these are less than in the earlier 2000-2006 funding period.
To sustain economic growth and rising employment Madeira now needs to expand its labour market and provide its workers with the skills the Madeiran economy and businesses need today and in the future.
The European Social Fund. The European Social Fund, created in 1957, is the European Union’s main financial instrument for investing in people. It supports employment and helps people enhance their education and skills. This improves their job prospects.
ESF priorities in Madeira. Madeira’s strategy for ESF funding has global objectives :
-to significantly increase the level of education and training among its people, and in
particular in technology-related areas,
-to create more jobs in ways that support entrepreneurial initiatives
and the requirements of the regional labour market;
-to improve social cohesion and regional governance.
To achieve these objectives the ESF Operational
Programme has two main priorities:
Priority 1 : Education and training
Priority 2 : Employment and social cohesion
Portugal Downgrade Adds To Debt Woes. A solution to Greece’s budget woes remains elusive for the EU. Now Fitch’s downgrade of Portugal reminds investors, again, that Athens is not alone in the dark. WALL ST JOURNAL VIDEO
Also an article on the issue and impacts from the BBC HERE
Madeira fungi Thanks to Pete
Many thanks to Elaine once again for yesterday’s top news stories :
FRONT PAGE NEWS
Cleaning reveals the Fontes de João Dinis. This water source has been buried for decades in the gardens that separate the Palácio de São Lourenço from the Avenida do Mar. The mudslide that hit Funchal on the 20th February entered these gardens and on removing the debris, this public water supply was uncovered. It was built 520 years ago. In 1490, Funchal Council approved the water from the ‘Altinho das Fontes’ when they built the first fort which became the Palácio de São Lourenço. Historians have identified the Fontes de João Dinis from photographs from the 1930s, before the Avenida do Mar was constructed. Photographs from the twentieth century prove that the fountain was still in good working order. The fountain is to be left on view when the centuries old pebble pavement and gardens are renovated.
Luso-Canadians gather one million Canadian dollars. Over the past month, 700,000 Canadian dollars have been collected for Madeira and the community hopes to reach one million. The campaign started on TV and radio stations for the Portuguese in Canada. A festival of folklore arranged by the Canadian Madeira Club brought together 18 dance groups and the club hosted three dinners to raise money. Last weekend, the largest union for civil construction workers held a dinner for 1,100 people and collected 280,000 Canadian dollars. The union has 46,000 members of which several thousand are Luso-Canadians.
Solidarity takes three mayors to London. Miguel Albuquerque, Ismael Fernandes and Arlindo Gomes, the Mayors of Funchal, Ribeira Brava and Câmara de Lobos, respectively, will go to the solidarity dinner in London on Saturday. All 800 tickets have been sold and the organizers could have sold another 500 if the room at the Ibis Hotel at Earls Court could accommodate more. It is uncertain if the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson can attend and the event will not be broadcasted live on RTP-Madeira as previously reported. The dinner costs a reasonable 30 pounds per person including drinks. Also present will be the President of Marítimo (Carlos Pereira), Ricardo Pestana from the Banif bank, the Ambassador of Portugal, the Portuguese Consul, the Madeiran Advisor and the leader of Lambeth Council. More than 60 volunteers will help prepare and serve food and drinks. The two singers, Vânia Fernandes and Adelaide Ferreira provide live entertainment.
TUI Germany should have two winter flights again. Two charter flights that were cancelled three years ago during the winter season 2007/8 are being renegotiated. Until four years ago, these flights brought 70,000 tourists to Madeira. Over the past four years, the German market along with other European markets fell by 20%. Last year, TUI brought 50,000 tourists from Germany. Negotiations are for two flights from Frankfurt and Dusseldorf with Stuttgart as another option. If the deal materialises, TUI will no longer use Air Berlin, a low-cost carrier that connects Madeira to more than a dozen German cities, although many are indirect flights. Proposals for more routes for Air Berlin to fly to Madeira are not as promising as hoped.
Reid’s Palace is one of the ten top historic hotels. Reid’s Palace luxury hotel, part of the Orient-Express chain, is listed as the fifth most outstanding historic hotel in Europe and the United States. The list was compiled on the British Trivago hotel comparison website from customer evaluations and prices. It is cited as having an excellent location on the south coast of Funchal and a brief history of the hotel is included on the Trivago website. The top hotel is the 1861 five-star Palace Beau Rivage in Lausanne, Switzerland. The list is HERE
JORNAL DA MADEIRA
New leader of PSD will not be invited. A few days before Friday’s election of the new national leader of the PSD, Alberto Jardim warns that there will be no-one from Lisbon invited to this year’s PSD-M Festa do Chão da Lagoa. The festa is scheduled for the last weekend in July. Jardim thinks the internal bickering and intrigues will continue within the national party. Regardless of who wins, even if it is Paulo Rangel, he says the leader could not efficiently organize the party structure. Although there are 15,000 PSD members in Madeira, only 8,000 can vote at the national level. — Jardim said the national PSD would continue "um albergue espanhol" – Spanish hostel, asylum ? Anyone know what this phrase means?
RAM wants to integrate into OSPAR. A meeting of representatives from six countries in OSPAR is being held in Funchal. The inclusion of Madeira in the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Northeast Atlantic would be beneficial to the region, along with the inclusion of the Canary Islands. The Azores are already in OSPAR. This would help to protect the marine environment which is a vital resource for Madeira. This intention must be formalized by the Regional and Republic Governments. At the conference, Madeira won praise for the protection of marine species and preservation of biodiversity. Illegal fishing in international waters is a worry for the representatives and the Madeiran fishermen are having to go further out to catch fish in deep water.
Several hypotheses for the inerts stored at the bay of Funchal. The Regional Director for the Environment acknowledged that the debris stored at the bay of Funchal prejudices the image of the city. He says it was the right decision due to the circumstances of the tragedy. It is unthinkable to move the material elsewhere on land, especially to higher areas from where it could be washed down again. It would take thousands of trucks to move it all. The several hypotheses would have to be studied both economically and environmentally. The material could be kept where it is to add another zone by the sea. It could be moved to other coastal areas requiring protection from the sea, for example the bathing complexes at Lido and Barreirinha. It could be dumped at sea, as allowed by law as it is from a tragedy, and to reduce environmental impact would have to be deposited between 2,000 – 4,000 metres deep.
Whale sighted off the coast of Paul. A whale was spotted about 400 metres off the coast of Paul do Mar for a few minutes at around 11.30 am. It could have been a sperm whale and was offshore near the cafe area and the statue of fishermen. Although it is normal to see whales in the region, especially in this area, it is unusual for them to be so close to land. The information is recorded on a database at the Whale Museum for the regional authorities and the European Commission and used in studies and educational programs.
Today’s news headlines from the front page of the Diário de Notícias :
Those made homeless forgotten in Campanário – Storm left people without house losing hope : the authorities just photographed the damage.
Collapse in telecommunications obliges the move of the networks to safer locations.
Today’s main news headline : Rangel plays down autonomy – The motion of the candidate preferred by [president] Jardim to lead the Social Democrat Party set aside just one paragraph on the autonomy issues. Hmmmm … I reckon this is a bit of naughtiness by the Diário to put a spanner in the works of President Jardim’s voting plans in tomorrow’s national PSD leadership election. I don’t think Jardim cares for any of the candidates to be honest, and he has given the PSD members on Madeira his blessing to vote for who they want (theoretically at least). What would be really interesting is if Passos Coelho wins the leadership election, because Jardim hates him with a vengeance. Should Coelho win, then we will have a bizarre situation where Jardim is then more closely aligned to his new buddy, and ex-worst enemy, Prime Minister Sócrates of the Socialists, than to his own party at national level.
Social Democrat Party already agrees to give the votes asked for by the Socialists – Another mess in the Parliament. Serrão was not elected and asked for the intervention of [president] Cavaco. At night, the PSD said that it would give the necessary votes.
Socialist Party has an alternative PEC [Programme of Stability and Growth] for Madeira.
Incentives to businesses without tax demands.
The main sport headline today : FIA confirms triumph of Vítor Sá on Porto Santo [rally] – The software used was approved. A rival of the Madeiran had claimed that the winning car had been ‘enhanced’ outside of the rules, after last weekends victory.
Football : Twist in the ‘Hulk case’ leads to resignation of Hermínio Loureiro from the League of Clubs.
If anyone else can oblige with the translation of any of the ‘blank’ or sparsely filled headlines, or other news stories, here is the link. All contributions much appreciated.
BTW – Someone sent me an email today, one of those supposedly funny ones, titled ‘How to tell male and female birds apart [without a close inspection]. It used these two Madeiran Gaivotas to illustrate the point. I am not sure I really understood the joke, and I certainly didn’t find it at all amusing, but I thought I had better warn people that it is going around. Der
Finally, from me at least, going back a few days, there was a controversial article on the website of a Welsh newspaper, which has prompted at least 3 blog readers to comment that the article is inaccurate. The article practically claimed we suffered an event of Haiti proportions last month, and that it was necessary to flee Madeira. Have a look! and maybe also comment HERE
Update from Sheila : Alone in the garden of an empty Garajau apartment, this dog is dying from neglect. The Police know about this; SPAD knows about this and many of us know about this. Attempts to trace the owner of the dog are being made, even by the President of SPAD, Sr. Goncalo Santos himself. He told me over the telephone yesterday: "I cannot break into private property to save a dog". The English tourists, who have been staying in the flat next door to the dog, have been trying to lower water and food over the wall down to the animal. Tomorrow, these visitors are returning to the U.K. Then the plight of this dog will become even more desperate.
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