Another blow for Porto Santo, Taxi protest, Chao da Ribeira festa, & other snippets

TODAY’S PHOTO : Thanks to Eiryl … Late on New Year’s Day at Jardim do Mar … nice pic except that darn fisherman getting in the way!

Front Page News : source Diário de Notícias 23/1/2009

Today’s main story : The dream of the entrepreneur Sílvio Santos for the Colombo Resort on Porto Santo Island has come to an abrupt end, as the banks take possession of the whole project. The banking syndicate that funded the project has been informed that there is no more money to continue, let alone repay any investors. Discussions have been held with both the governments of Madeira and the republic to find a solution, but nothing has been decided. One of the options being considered was a joint venture involving the Department for Tourism of Portugal to get the project finished. Initially the project employed 400 workers, but that has gradually diminished, eventually stopping work altogether. Very sad … Porto Santo 12 months ago had so much hope for tourism, development, local jobs, and a growing economy, but everything seems to have has gone wrong. I can’t imagine any business wanting to invest there in the next few years, but I hope I am wrong.

Since the Judicial Court of Funchal had it’s metal detector operational at the entrance, security guards there are taking between 6 and 10 ‘white weapons’ a day off people who enter. A ‘white weapon’ is essentially a knife, but could include any sharp metal object with the potential to injure someone. The headline is eye-catching, but later you realise that it is mostly hype, as as these are not violent criminals entering the court, these are people with pocket knives, and nail files and nail cutters in ladies handbags.

Taxi drivers are to stage a protest on Tuesday over concerns about increased fuel prices and unfair competition form travel agencies and other organisations that ‘take’ their customers. Combined with the economic crisis in the general sense, they are finding it hard going to make a living. According to the notice placed in the rear window of the taxis, the protest will take the form of a ‘gathering’ at the parking area in Praia Formosa at 4pm on Tuesday.

The all powerful social democratic party (PSD-M) is withholding documents from the opposition parties. Files relating to contracts, developments, and other matters of parliamentary business, which all politicians have a constitutional right to access, have been withheld since as far back as last May. The socialists (PS-M) will make a formal complaint to the appropriate governmental body in Lisbon to have the matter rectified. Just when you think that Jardim’s party can’t make life any more difficult for the opposition, we learn of another dirty tactic aimed at crushing the opposition. I would say that being an opposition politician must be sheer hell, but perhaps earning up to twenty times the minimum salary makes work a little more tolerable.

Aside from the daily football piece, the only other story was about ‘The Experimental Theatre of Funchal’ (that I have not heard of) that is taking it’s turn in being hit by the crisis with reducing numbers of plays and actors. Normally it presents 2 adult and 2 children’s shows each year. In the past it received funding to the tune of €150,000 a year, but this year that is expected to be halved. Increasing the ticket prices form €10 (adult) in these hard times is no option either.

Other News :

The Madeira assembly managed to agree with almost total unity on two matters this week. The first was a vote of congratulations to Cristiano Ronaldo for winning the FIFA player of the year award … but who would have dared to vote otherwise during an election year. The second matter was a vote on a two percent pay rise for themselves, where all the parties voted in favour, except the PCP who abstained, which was not really very brave of them knowing it was bound to go through anyway. Two percent on a salary of up to twenty times the minimum salary … must be worth around €2,000 a year, so not a bad days work!

Chão da Ribeira, in the freguesia of Seixal, has a festa this weekend, with up to 4,000 people expected to attend. Unlike most festas, the ‘Panelo’ doesn’t celebrate anything specific but has taken place at the same time annually for many many years. The ‘Panelo’ is actually a 150 litre cooking vessel, and it will be filled with 2 sacks of potatoes, 2 sacks of cabbage, 38 kilos of pork, 15 kilos of traditional spicy sausage (chouriço) and 15 kilos of sweet potatoes, and that’s just for Sunday lunch.

Marítimo 0 – 0 Leixões last night.

Have a good weekend!

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21 thoughts on “Another blow for Porto Santo, Taxi protest, Chao da Ribeira festa, & other snippets”

  1. Der If 2% of their salary is 2000 Euro, then 1% is 1000 Euro.
    100% is then 1000 x 100 = 100,000 Euro per annum!
    Am I right?.
    Not bad then for a councillor.
    Martin
    –Alistair Darling

  2. Does anyone know if you can buy a product here (and if so the name of it) for controlling whitefly. Its attacking the tomato leaves…the toms are fine thanks
    –Sarah

  3. I was wondering when the project at Porto Santo would grind to halt. We went to Porto Santo in September and there did not seem to be much going on. It is next to the new Pestana which is finished. It is a very nice hotel but I don't think it will do much business in the present economic crisis. It probably won't be long before some of the hotel and housing projects grind to a halt on Madeira but I bet they are less likely to be left for any length of time because they will constitute an eyesore.

    A builders story from here in London…
    German hedge fund manager bought up an actor's house near to us and spent 4 million doing it up – including a subterranean swimming pool. We were puzzled to see at Xmas that the brand new roof was covered in white and black paint. Builder's revenge – guess what – they hadn't been paid. He has lost his job and the house is boarded up. There is a new hotel opening above the Dolce Vita shopping centre I hear – to rival Reids in price and service. Has anybody been? I'm flying out to Madeira today (hurray!) and plan to have a look. Hope the weather is better in Madeira – it is absolutely terrible here in London – dark, rainy and cold.
    –Viv

  4. The Vine opened just before Christmas, though why anyone would want to have a holiday above a shopping centre in the middle os busy Funchal astounds me, especially at the prices they charge. The entrance to the Hotel is on the South side of the shopping centre and has a consierge standing at the entrance of two slopes, one each side of the doors to the shops – bizarre
    –Jeanne

  5. Thanks for that information, Jeanne. Actually, I stay in an apartment at the entrance to the Forum Madeira but as I pay only 50 euros a night for a nice place I'm not complaining!
    –Viv

  6. Thanks for that information, Jeanne. Actually, I stay in an apartment at the entrance to the Forum Madeira but as I pay only 50 euros a night for a nice place I'm not complaining!
    –Viv

  7. Does anyone know if there is a bus from Funchal to Santo da Serra Sunday market – also a bus that returns to Funchal – anywhere I can find out timetables. thanks
    –Beryl

  8. its true, but I was in hospital at 7.15am this morning to 11pm, so I couldn't even put a message on to say sorry. There is a whole blog worth of story to tell about that, but not just yet.

    I will be bed-bound for a few days now, so depending on whether I can sit up comfortably I will continue to post something, or if not perhaps a debate topic … any suggestions (by email if you prefer).

    Thanks for the good wishes, it's escalating back problems, so I have not been run over or anything.
    –Der

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