Tag Archives | football

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.

PLEASE NOTE : BLOG SOFTWARE UPGRADE AT AROUND 8.30 am TOMORROW, SO THE BLOG WILL BE OFFLINE FOR HALF AN HOUR OR SO – APOLOGIES

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Festa Money Stolen ; Dry At Eagle Rock ; Lugar With Parking Meters? ; Political Inequality

(10th September). Today’s main news headline : ‘Money Of The Festivals Disappeared -  Restlessness lives in the parish of Água de Pena. Everything because of the ‘theft’ of donations, to the value of €10 thousand, left in a car of a member of the Commission of Festas’. The money was in envelopes inside the car of one of the festa organisers, and was taken early in August. The matter has been kept secret since. The money had been collected from various sites around the parish before the theft, but no one really knows what happened. The Diário managed to speak with the person who had the stolen money in his charge, who was very upset about the matter, but takes the blame and said he intends to ‘regularize’ the situation. The locals are worried. Very recently a grocery store next to the church was robbed, when thieves broke in through the roof and stole €500 and other items. There is a feeling of impunity, and there are those who say that it is not worth complaining to the police.

The sports headline & main photo today : ‘Victory In Bad Game Feeds The Dream – Portugal won in Hungary 1 – 0. Pepe scored the goal that keeps hope alive of qualification for the World Cup. Ronaldo squandered opportunities’. The mood in town last night, despite the result, was sombre. "A weak performance" I heard said several times. Who cares, with all the toughest games out of the way now, and 6 more points for the taking. The problem is we still needs someone else to slip up.

‘Lack Of Agricultural Water Causes Protest – A 20 year old promise yet to be kept takes the population of Penha D’Águia to deliver a signed petition in Santana’. The residents of ‘Eagle Rock’ in Faial are tired of waiting for the 20 year old promise to be fulfilled. A 65 signature petition was raised and delivered to the council in Santana. Signed by residents, family, friends, and land owners in the area, fed up with irrigation problems and being unable to produce crops as they should. "Many times we were waiting for a little rain, but could not grow anything", said one resident. The problem in the area often also affects drinking water. "Sometimes there is no water to drink there", he said, adding that many are the days when only around midnight they get "a drop of water" to quench their thirsts. The councillor responsible was unable to comment as he was on holiday, but the council said that he had no knowledge of the petition, and that as the promise was made so long ago by another ‘team’, the promise it is not the responsibility of the current council in this current mandate.

‘Businessmen’ Blame Government For 7 Year Old bad Debt’. In an episode referred to as "Brides of September", the government is blamed for a €10 thousand debt, or more specifically those responsible for tourism 7 years ago. The event, which only ran three times, involved the making of 7 wedding dresses by 5 guest designers, and the funding for the 7 dresses was a verbal agreement with the person responsible for tourism and culture at that time. One of the wedding dress designers says she spend €1,100 on materials out of her own pocket. The organisers of the event, the Association of Women Entrepreneurs of Madeira, are now facing insolvency, and a decision is expected next week.

‘Nurses In Protest On The 18th – Madeira’s professionals will have a presence in the protest in Lisbon’. The protest next week, at the Ministry of health, is over changes to career paths.

Customs staff are also threatening to strike (in a national action), probably in the week prior to the national elections, over government proposals involving career regulations for staff.

‘Study For Parking Meters In Lugar de Baixo – The council wants more rotation in car parking in the area of bars and restaurants’. No decision has yet been taken, but the intentions already point in this direction. The parking, at least within the range of the restaurants in Lugar de Baixo, Ponta do Sol, is expected to be regulated through the placement of parking meters. The expected action would be taken during the next mandate of the council, with the primary objective of preventing the parking abuse that proliferates in this area, located near the end of the east tunnel, aiming to serve short term parking and facilitate more rotation of clients for nearby businesses. Currently many drivers park there for long periods. A council spokesman said he wants to hear from local business owners before making a decision.

Police are trying to track down a car and driver that ran down a 33 year old man on Sunday near Lugar de Baixo, and fled the scene. The car was a VW Golf, the colour is silver-grey, and it now lacks part of the front grille and the wing mirror on the passenger side. The victim is still in hospital with 4 fractures and other injuries.

UPDATES / POLITICS :

The last of today’s front page headlines : ‘Zaragata’ Takes Police To A Party Gathering’. Police were called to a meeting in Ponta do Sol, arranged to discuss the manning of voting tables in forthcoming elections. The meeting that started at 7 pm yesterday evening, was still going on at 10.30 pm, with two police officers waiting outside. The Diário said "Due to the lateness of the hour, we were unable to ascertain the reasons that motivated the likely ‘disagreement’ between the delegates, and the consequent call to the police". Hardly front page news then is it.

‘Equality Doesn’t Come At The Top Of The Lists – Teachers make up a third of the head-of-list for local elections’. The political parties have little trust in women to preside in the municipal authorities. The local elections scheduled for 11th October will have just 9 women, from around 60 candidates, at the top of the candidate lists submitted by seven parties. The law of parity is there with the aim of ensuring at least a third of candidates are women, by saying that there cannot be more than 2 consecutive same sex candidates on the lists. With 7 parties jostling for the presidency in Madeira’s 11 councils, just 9 women appear as the number one candidate. The PSD social democrats don’t have any, and have not had any in the top spot for the last 33 years. 

After a few tough days on the receiving end of criticism from all directions, president Jardim made an appeal yesterday for separatism from the central state, saying that if we bother you "you may see yourself free of us", because "we also don’t care". I care, and I am sure many tens of thousands more also care. If Uncle Bertie is implying we can survive as a small island without state support, then he is so so wrong.

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‘Pointless’ Awards ; Jellyfish Keep SANAS Busy ; ‘Pointless’ Loyalty Card ; One More Storey

(9th September). Today’s main news headline, and photo, showing an officer having an award pinned on him (or her?) : ‘More Commendations In The PSP – The distinctions, many of them "pointless", quadrupled in the last four years. The changes in the leadership of the Regional Police Command explains the abundance of ‘rewards’. The sub headline reads : ‘Pointless distinctions make Madeira the ‘El Dorado’ of distinctions’, a comment made by the trade union for police officers, who say the statistics are unparalleled elsewhere in Portugal. One explanation given is that outgoing police commanders hand out commendations like ‘tips’, and usually they change every 3 years, but there were two changes in 6 months. In just the first 4 months of this year, the number of commendations in recognition of "high technical competence", is pretty much the same as for the whole of 2008. The distinctions are intended to recognise police officers "who have committed deeds of extraordinary courage or exceptional dedication in the defence of persons, or property, or assets, risking their own life" and those that demonstrate in their career "an elevated level of technical and professional competence", and those having "elevated abilities of leadership or command", or who have provided "relevant service that contribute to the prestige of the PSP and the country", according to the police statute that governs the matter. The commendations count in career progress. I think that’s a bit mean spirited to refer to distinctions as ‘pointless’, after all they are recognition of a job well done somewhere, and now some officers must be thinking now it was all just talk. Anyway the whole crime and public order scene here has changed an awful lot in 4 years, so the numbers of commendations alone, as shown on the chart, don’t mean much without knowing what the awards were for. When I was in the boy scouts, they handed out merit badges like sweets, but they still meant something even though the chances were that everyone else had the same, or would have soon. You even had to sew them on yourself in those days, but I bet these days they are self adhesive, or laser impregnated, or something easy. I don’t remember ever getting a badge for sewing though?

‘Jellyfish Oblige SANAS To Double Assistance – 60 bathers were stung in just one day in Calheta’. Jellyfish have proved this summer to be the main headache for the lifeguards of SANAS, and there has been no year like it for at least the last ten years, with so many cases. With this Summer still underway, already there are 2099 cases of assistance recorded, compared to 1003 for the same period in 2008, with jellyfish being a major contributor to the difference, instead of minor cuts and falls as normal. An analysis of the numbers show that women have been more vulnerable to jellyfish stings than men, and also younger people and children tended to be more likely victims. Funchal of course had the most call for the recorded lifeguard assistance (43%), followed by Calheta (11%), Reis Magos (7.4%) and Ribeira Brava (7%). Most of the assistance given was in the sea (57.1%), followed by in swimming pools (20.3%), and the rest were categorised as ‘other’ which includes problems encountered on the beach. Three cases involved resuscitation associated with drowning (all successfully executed), whilst drowning without loss of consciousness occurred 9 times. 23 rescues were undertaken for cases of exhaustion. A spokesman for SANAS said "We’re not on the beaches to take care of children", and urged parents and family not to delegate this responsibility to lifeguards, so they can be stretched out on their towels sunbathing.

‘Europe Gave 926 Thousand Euros For A Card That Doesn’t Exist – ACS received funds for the project that never got off the drawing board’. Lino Abreu presented (with pomp and circumstance), in December 2004, an innovative project of the Association of Trade and Services (ACS), called the ‘Cartão das Ilhas Atlânticas’, which was a customer loyalty card useable on the islands of Macaronesia. At a press conference in January 2005, Abreu announced that the new card would be distributed with 15 days, with a computer software programme accessible in the Canaries, Madeira and the Azores, to manage the ‘loyalty awards’. However, the project that received €926,224 in European funds never moved of the paper it was written on because of technical difficulties attributed as "the fault of the Spanish", but the Chamber of Commerce and Services continued to receive payments from the EU. The project may still be implemented, although the Diário is of the opinion that the period permitted has now been exceeded.

‘Two More Cases Of Gripe A – Madeira has now had 35 confirmed cases’. That’s two new confirmed cases in the week until Sunday. Nearly all the cases so far are imported, mostly from the UK, Canary Islands, and Venezuela.

Today’s front page sports headlines : ‘Field Without Official Measurements Cost One Million – The synthetic pitch at Paul do Mar is 5 metres short’. The renovated football facility (it is certainly not a stadium), now has a synthetic pitch, and is due to be inaugurated on Sunday. However, one small problem, it is ‘prohibited’ from being able to host games under the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF), despite the €1.1 million investment, because it is only 59 metres wide, 5 metres short of the minimum imposed by new rules, introduced by the FPF in June, for international games. All is not lost however, as the pitch may be suitable to host other games, and that possibility is being looked in to. Paul do Mar is not the only victim of the new FPF rule, as a pitch in Calheta is also affected, and after the end of this season will also fall foul of the rule. The Regional Secretary behind the project, justified the situation, claiming that "the (€1.1m) improvement was made in view of the room that was available, and it is sufficient for regional events, and that Calheta already has other facilities that could host international matches". The field size "corresponds to the regional regulatory requirements", he said.

Also : ‘Only A Victory Will Allow The Luso Dream’. Referring to tonight’s World Cup Football Qualifier of course, Hungary v Portugal. Live on TVI, channel 4, at 7.45 pm.

Also : ‘Unprecedented : Marítimo Plays Sunday Morning’. Keen not to lose SportTV coverage, (and presumably the money involved?), Marítimo and Sporting Braga have agreed to bring forward their game, originally scheduled for Monday night, to Sunday morning (11.15 am). The situation is due somewhat by a problem with the floodlights at the Barreiros ground in Funchal. We will all still be in church then, won’t we?

UPDATES :

‘Council Approves An Additional Storey On The Atelier Melim Building’. The project situated on the Estrada Monumental, in the heart of tourist Funchal, is next to the Hotel CS. I think that takes it from 6 to 7 levels, but I am not 100% sure of the exact format or structure. The building licence was issued in August 2008 for the construction of the commercial centre and tourism apartments.

 

 

‘Renewal Of Walks Of Pico Ready In Less Than A Year – The council estimate that €1 million will be needed for the redevelopment of the area surrounding the Fortaleza (fortress) of Pico’. The project will start in November to improve the zone, which has suffered as a result of a large increase in population and ‘urban interventions’. To regenerate the site, Funchal council have acquired the entire surrounding area, amounting to 6,700 square metres. The new look site will include an ‘urban park’, a children’s play ground, a ‘green’ space with leisure features, view points, and a rich botanic feel, serving the local population. Some building refurbishment is also included in the project, which is expected to take up to one year to complete.

11 people were caught walking on the via rápida last week (Ribeira Brava – Caniçal). They were removed, along with 6 animals, 27 largish objects. 10 car accidents and 68 breakdowns were also dealt with.

The Association of Portuguese Insurance Companies has said that it would be "highly irresponsible" to cover claims arising from Gripe A swine flu against health insurance policies, and that doing so could lead to bankruptcy for some insurers. According to the association, APS, no insurance company "can measure the risk of an epidemic or pandemic, nor as to its frequency, nor as to its extent, nor as to its cost", and hence such occurrences are excluded from policies. 

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