Updated:05/05/2020 17: 05h
As ABC announced, and after several (and sound) protests from the sector, the Government has approved a package of specific measures for culture to combat the crisis caused by the coronavirus. The Royal Decree includes, among other things, various grants to boost financing for the sector, greatly diminished by the situation. In total, the budgetary investment of the Ministry of Culture and Sport reaches 76.4 million euros. This has been announced by the Minister of Culture and Sport, José Manuel Rodríguez Uribes, at the press conference after the Council of Ministers, in which the Minister of Finance also participated, María Jesús Montero Cuadrado, and the Minister of Health, Salvador Illa.
This is a decree, explained Rodríguez Uribes, “just and justified”, which responds to a dialogue with all sectors for culture, and that it arrives on time. “I am very satisfied with this decree, it comes at the right time,” he stressed. In fact, he insisted, these measures could only be taken after «analyzing the scope for the culture of the General measures that have been taken », a scope, on the other hand, that the representatives of the world of culture already considered insufficient a few weeks ago.
The aid included in the decree is summarized in five points, as we already reported yesterday on ABC. First, the liquidity of the sector, which will be boosted with twenty million euros. Second, the measures of unemployment protection in culture, which is marked by intermittency and precariousness, and which will now be eligible for protection that is “crucial”. «This measure has to do with the development and maturation of the Artist Statute (…) It is an old demand », he pointed out.
Thirdly, the decree includes aid for the protection of the business and association fabric, to mitigate the damage caused and help in de-escalation. Fourth, they have relaxed the requirements and terms of aid for culture and also it has been tried, by means of the advance payment, that cultural events are not canceled, and that they are only postponed. In fifth place, he has highlighted the tax incentives designed for film shoots, which, as Rodríguez Uribes recalled, can be resumed in phase 1 of the de-escalation. In this sense, they have also wanted to promote patronage, with a 5% increase in deductions for patronage. “We want to promote private solidarity in the cultural field,” he asserted.
To conclude, the minister has declared the year Berlanga in 2021, the Alicante World Cup, the Frankfurt Book Fair (in which Spain is a guest country) as events of “exceptional public interest”, with their respective tax breaks. or Xacobeo 2021.
Music festivals, unanswered
Asked about the situation of music festivals, who are still in the limbo that separates the celebration of the cancellation, Rodríguez Uribes has not specified anything. “We will respond to that when the time comes … Everything will depend on the evolution of the pandemic and on the criteria set by the Ministry of Health,” he said. And he added: “The criterion is not to cancel things, but to postpone them.”
As for whether there will be more measures for culture, in addition to those included in this text, he has insisted that the decree is intended to mitigate the damage caused by the pandemic and to aid in de-escalation. Still, he recalled the need to “seek the state pact for culture with medium-term and long-term measures.”