Two years after Madeleine McCann disappeared from the apartment in Praia da Luz, in the Algarve, residents and business owners have only one wish: to get back to normal, by recovering anonymity and the normalcy of a village that was always quiet and essentially marked by strong English tourism.
‘All we want is to recover our peace and quiet. To live in the normalcy that we used to live in’, asserts a business owner, only a few metres away from the Ocean Club, remembering the days of turmoil that were lived in May, when Madeleine was last seen.
‘I think that the break in business is not only related to that. The truth is that people have less money to spend and this year, the month of April was not sunny enough to attract tourism’, says Fátima Pereira, who has been selling hats near the beach for ten years.
Alda Almeida, the owner of a small shop by the beach, recalls Maddie and the McCann couple. They were regular customers, she saw them with the children every day, and she helped in the search, on the first few days. Now, all that she wants if for time to go back and that nothing had happened.
‘We actually went through an anticipated crisis. Last year things were very bad already, but this year it’s gone worse. We’re tired with all of this, we got very involved as well and the truth is that the posterior events with our police also left us many doubts. The parents should clarify all of this’, she asserts.
The crisis that was prompted by the Maddie case extends to the Ocean Club. The resort is practically empty and only few English people choose the location. ‘Business used to be very good. The child’s disappearance left the resort in serious financial distress. Just look at the redundancies and nowadays’ occupation rates. It’s a tragedy’, an employee concluded.
Redundancies - The Ocean Club used to employ over 130 people when the little girl went missing. Now, the resort employs 27, after the last collective dismissal.
Criminal action – The dismissed Ocean Club workers admit the possibility of filing a judicial process against the McCanns. They demand them to prove the abduction theory that they keep defending.
Not to miss: Thursday
On Thursday, Correio da Manhã offers its readers (for 6,95 euros + newspaper) the DVD* that reconstitutes the investigated facts and reveals new images. A new light on the Maddie case.
source: Correio da Manhã, 26.04.2009
note* The DVD documentary based on Gonçalo Amaral book 'Maddie, The Truth of the Lie', broadcasted by TVI, which you can still watch here along with the English transcript.