Re: Letter Satellite blackout – Let’s hope the moaning stops


Dear Editor,
The first letter you published on February 14 astounds me. I can only assume from the name of its writer that she has “close connections” with Portugal/Portuguese.
Also it would appear that she either does not use EDP for electricity OR she powers up her TV by alternative means, such as gas! I base this assumption on her letter’s penultimate paragraph of “…at last to PAY for their TV…” because, unless I am mistaken, “Contribuição Audiovisual” on all my EDP electricity invoices covers such funding – to my mind it being a far superior method of obtaining payment than that used by the UK, thereby dispensing with “tracker vehicles”, etc.
And “yes” I do belong to the many expats who miss having access to both British radio (except L.B.C on 97.3 FM) and television programmes. It was a means of not only selecting favourites, and I do emphasise “favourites”, for quality/repeats were too regularly to my liking, but it did provide a regular link with “folk back home”, more particularly events similar to the terrible flooding which could affect kith and kin.
Richard Thurman, Armação de Pêra


Dear Editor,
I feel compelled to respond to the rather cynical letter from Sylvia Conceição (last week’s edition) but I must say initially how impressed I am at her command of the English language. A shame she has her facts wrong in several areas.
Living in Portugal, we do pay for our television, regardless of which channels we watch, through our electricity bills. The quality of Portuguese television leaves much to be desired compared to British output and that may explain so many English programmes with Portuguese subtitles.
The reason we shop at Iceland is because we have yet to find a Portuguese butcher who sells decent meat. Many Portuguese also shop at Iceland, presumably for the same reason.
Many British expats are heavily involved in the local community and contribute substantially to the economy and to local charities. Indeed, since we first started coming to the Algarve over 30 years ago we have seen great changes for the better, largely helped both physically and financially by immigrants. Now stop the moaning and learn to live together.
Derek Barker, Almancil


Dear Editor,
The letter from Senhora Conceição last week only showed her bias (hatred?). There is much on BBC to watch. Frankly, it is much better than Portuguese TV; even the BBC weather maps, when they cover Portugal, are better, and what does Senhora Conceição think the Portuguese in the UK watch, or the substantial Asian population? Indeed, the BBC produce Asian programmes. BBC 1 and 2 have many outstanding news and factual programmes and one can learn much from BBC4.
Independent CH.4 has good news coverage and its documentaries like Dispatches and the ground-breaking Food Hospital are outstanding.
Although not a UK channel, though they do have a London studio, Aljazeera is very good, both for news and factual programmes. A measure of how good, unbiased it is, is the fact that many corrupt governments, elites, expel Aljazeera journalists or imprison them. Four are in jail in Egypt at present.
As far as Senhor Xabregas’ comments regarding GNR: the GNR are not police, they are a military group and are not trained in policing. They are simply there to collect fines (tax) for the government. In the UK, even Police Community Support Officers (not police) are better. The traffic Brigada should be trained to police, as in the UK for example (specialists). The problem is the system, politicians.
D Taylor-Smith, by email