Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Artists fight to collect unemployment after the closure of cultural spaces

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The artists will demand this Friday atPublic administrationsto pay for the actions canceled by the coronavirus crisis and the closure of cultural spaces to compensate theactors, actresses, musicians and dancersthat “they are doomed to extreme situations bordering on social exclusion and indigence” after the decree of the state of alarm.

This is one of the proposals, along with the one to have the right to unemployment, that the general secretary of the Union of Actors and Actresses will propose,Iñaki Guevara, in the telematic meeting that he will hold together with 29 other representatives of the cultural scene with the spokesperson and Minister of Finance,Maria Jesus Montero, and the head of Culture,José Manuel Rodríguez Uribes.

The creation of some ‘bonolibros’ for the acquisition of reading copies, the reduction of VAT from 10% to 4% or the ‘specialization’ of officials to meet the specificities of the sector are some of the requests that the sector will convey to the ministers , reports Europa Press.

Guevara attends the virtual meeting “containing the air” but hopeful for Montero’s participation.“I have more confidence in her than in the minister”, she acknowledges while remembering the “tremendous” disappointment she felt on April 8 when Rodríguez Uribes declared that there were no specific measures for culture.

Live for today

“First, health and then, the cinema,” Rodríguez Uribes proclaimed before the stupor of many artists who“live up to date” and cannot access benefitsunemployment despite the decrees signed by the Government to alleviate the economic damage in Spanish households.

Iñaki Guevara insists on demanding that the Executive protect the sector with urgent measures that allow access to contributory benefits or unemployment benefits “that have already been contemplated for other workers especially hit by the crisis” of covid-19.

“We are dying, but starving and drowned by the ordinary payments of every citizen”,The actor Iñaki Guevara warns in the document that he will present to Montero and Rodríguez Uribes and that has been endorsed by the autonomous performing arts workers and the rest of the sector’s unions.

All agree that it is “essential that any prohibition of work be accompanied by social measures that protect” the employee affected by this stoppage of activity that has lowered the curtain on cinemas, theaters, auditoriums, libraries, bookstores and museums.

“The measures until now approved by the Executive have absolutely no application in the artistic sector due to the intermittency that characterizes their profession at work,” they emphasize.

State Pact

This appointment occurs a day after the minister met telematically with the councilors for Culture of the autonomous communities, Ceuta and Melilla and the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (Femp) to promote a “state pact”.

Everyone agreed on the need todeclare the cultural activity as a “good of first necessity”to preserve it against possible future crises and to do everything possible “so that no one is left behind” in this phase of resistance of the global pandemic that has taken artists and citizens off the cultural stage.

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