Reading the Mail in the Algarve

I’ve just returned from a 10 day break in the Algarve with Eileen. We deliberately hadn’t taken laptops etc with us as we wanted a stress free time. So, the only way we could keep up with the news was by buying the Daily Mail which prints a special Iberian edition every day.

I wouldn’t normally read the Mail and I was surprised at how strongly anti European many of the articles were. Not much doubt which side the Mail will be on in the forthcoming in / out referendum!  It all seems a bit ironic to me that the Euro sceptic Mail is clearly the paper of choice for the large British ex pat community living in the Algarve and benefiting from the many large infrastructure projects there which are EU funded.

All over the Algarve you will find new bridges, train stations and museums which all display signs which bear the EU flag. Many people in the Algarve have a better opinion of Brussels than they do of the Portuguese Government in Lisbon. A North-South divide exists in Portugal as much as it does in the UK.

If the British ex pats in the Algarve do follow the Mail’s advice and vote for Brexit, they may well be biting the hand that feeds them.

Another running story in the Mail last week was the price of football tickets, particularly Liverpool’s plan to charge £77 for some premiership games. By contrast, last weekend I went along to watch Esperanca de Lagos v Moncarapachense in the Portuguese third division. The ticket price was 2.5 Euros (£1.94 at the current rate of exchange); good luck trying to get into a football match in the UK for less than £2! Even more remarkably, the steward at the entry gate didn’t have change for the 20 Euro note that I offered, so he insisted that I go in and watch the match for free. I can’t imagine that happening at Anfield anytime soon.



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