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Daily Archives: April 25, 2008

May 1 protests could be cancelled: rally organisers


by Natalie Leung

More than one rally which were originally planned to be staged on May 1 demanding measures to tackle illegal workers as well as soaring living costs could be called off after the Chief Executive announced the two-billion pataca subsidy for Macau residents on Tuesday. 

According to lawmaker and chief member of the New Macau Association, Au Kam San, the latest government announcement of distributing a one-time 5,000 pataca or 3,000 pataca subsidy to every permanent and non-permanent resident in July did "cool down the May 1 rally sentiment".
Mr Au told the Macau Daily Times there were about two or three workers' associations that had already submitted a May 1 protest notification to the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau (IACM) some time ago and planned to march to the government headquarters from Iao Hon Park and the Triangle Park in Areia Preta respectively.
But due to the unexpected relief measures of the government, the lawmaker said whether the rallies would still stick to the original plan had now become uncertain.
As the past protests in Macau had mainly been organised by construction workers, the result would depend on how much they were satisfied with the government aid, Mr Au said.
"The underemployment workers may rather want to have more working hours than to receive 5,000 patacas which is a completely short-term assistance," he added.
The New Macau Association held a press conference yesterday to give out opinions about the series of new government measures to relieve residents' livelihood.
Another lawmaker and association's chief member, Ng Kuok Cheong, said inflation was to some extent "inevitable in an economic hot spot", but the primary issues were how to boost people's income and to restrain inflation from growing excessively.

Continued on Page 2

Tennis: Nadal moves closer to Monte Carlo history

by Dave James*

Triple champion Rafael Nadal moved closer to a historic fourth consecutive Monte Carlo Masters title yesterday when he beat Spanish compatriot Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-4, 6-1 to book a quarter-final place.
Nadal recorded his sixth career win over Ferrero and will now face another Spaniard, fifth seed David Ferrer, for a place in the semi-finals.
The 21-year-old Nadal took his record at the Monte Carlo Country Club to 21 wins in 22 matches with his only defeat coming against Argentina's Guillermo Coria in the third round back in 2003.
His title last year took him level with Ilie Nastase's three consecutive wins from 1971-1973.
The triple French Open champion broke in the fourth game of the first set to lead 3-1 before the gritty 13th seeded Ferrero, twice a champion in 2002 and 2003, hit back in the seventh game.
But Nadal wrapped up the opener with a vicious, deep forehand on his fourth set point.
Nadal was ahead at 2-0 in the second set with a punishing forehand return of a weak Ferrero second service and that soon became 4-0 with a sweet drop shot.
The duo then exchanged breaks which left Nadal with a 5-1 lead which was converted into victory courtesy of a smooth forehand pass.
Ferrer, who clinched his sixth career title in Valencia last weekend, reached his fourth successive Monte Carlo quarter-final by brushing aside Serbia's Janko Tipsarevic 6-4, 6-0.
Ferrer's compatriot Nicolas Almagro was unable to join him in the last eight when he lost a marathon third round encounter to Russia's Igor Andreev.
Andreev won 7-5, 4-6, 6-4 but needed seven match points to secure his first place in the last eight and end the hopes of Almagro, one of the form players on clay this year.
The Spaniard went into yesterday's match boasting a 20-2 record on the surface in 2008 with two titles and a runners-up spot to Ferrer in Valencia.
Later yesterday, world number one Roger Federer, who was just two points away from a shock defeat to world 137 Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo in the second round, aims to reach the quarter-finals when he tackles France's Gael Monfils.
Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic, the third seed, takes on fellow 20-year-old Andy Murray.