Monday, August 3, 2020

Culture expects from the Treasury what it has not achieved from its minister, Rodríguez Uribes

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After the disappointment and deep unease that José Manuel Rodríguez Uribes has generated in the cultural world for not having made aid, the sector now hopes that the Minister of Culture will press his colleagues from the Treasury and the Economy and that the vital funds they demand will arrive. performing arts, books and cinema. They demand measures with content that allow a singular and highly touched sector to recover from the blow of the stoppage that will eat up 50% of the book’s turnover, which has cinema and theater in dry dock, and the graphic sector with the future threatened .

“Culture accounted for 3.2% of GDP last year, about 40,000 million euros. It supports more than 700,000 families, and is almost 3.6% of the country’s employment, “says Jesús Cimarro, president of the Academy of Performing Arts and the Federation of Theater and Dance Companies who wants to hear” that he fights, at last, for the survival of culture ».

“We are an atypical sector, neither better nor worse than others, and government decrees for industry in general are not valid for companies and professionals on the scene, who were the first to close and we will be the last to open,” he points out. Cimarro. Among the 52 labor, economic and fiscal measures they are demanding, the main ones are a fund to help workers and that the VAT on tickets and caches in public theaters falls from 21 to 10%.

«It is not to pay less. It is to create more activity and employment. What the State ceases to collect in VAT will be recovered as personal income tax and Social Security contributions, “says this producer” with 110 workers and zero income. ”

Masks on stage?

“If we do not act now, in June we will be at the UVI and there will be no day after,” calculates Cimarro. He believes that by the end of that month or the beginning of July, activity could resume. “If you have to do it with masks, well it will be”, says a “pragmatist” who wants guidelines for Health, Work and Social Security. “If a business model is strangled, there is no future. We need deadlines and concrete information, ”he claims. «We are not suicidal; We do not ask for more than what corresponds to us as a sector. Hence the annoyance with the minister when he said that first the health and then the cinema. Nobody questions that the first thing is health, but in parallel everything else », he argues. “We told the minister that not there, that you have to go somewhere else, and they have recognized him,” he congratulates himself. “With commerce and tourism we are one of the first in the chain, a great industry,” he reiterates. “What would become of citizenship without consuming cultural products on the networks and on television these days. They would have thrown themselves off the balconies. Theater, cinema, exhibitions, concerts are consumed through the networks … Behind what they see, there are 720,000 families working to get them home, “he recalls.

Miguel Barredo and Patrici Tixis, president and vice president of the Federation of Guilds of Publishers and Booksellers, calculate that 50% of the book’s turnover will be lost. They demand direct subsidies, soft loans that give liquidity and more budget so that public libraries buy books and that they are applied “at last”, throughout the country measures such as the bonolibro and the check for textbooks.

«The disappointment with Uribes was tremendous. He made it clear that culture is not an essential sector, let alone the book, which is at its base. He showed a lack of sensitivity and capacity, “says Tixis, who is waiting for concrete solutions. “Without them, many companies and bookstores that do not invoice, do not enter and cannot pay the bills can go down the drain.” “70% of the atomized book sector – our first cultural industry, which moves 2.4 billion euros with some 100,000 jobs and 3,900 bookstores – are small and medium-sized companies that without aid will stay on the road”, predicts Barredo. “The sector is touched on its waterline and I hope the government is sensitive,” he adds.

Intermittent Employment

“Asking is not a term that pleases me,” says Mariano Barroso, president of the Film Academy. “It is very difficult for our profession to fit into the general criteria,” he points out, claiming “the recognition of the specificity of the intermittent jobs of cinema in which tens of thousands of families live.”

Like all sectors that generate wealth for the State, we hope that the Administration will attend to us. But we are very aware of the situation and we support with all the force and energy those who are on the front line of this crisis, “says Barroso, who, without criticizing Uribes, says” trust the Treasury. ”

“Cinema, 100% paralyzed with the state of alarm, is as essential as tourism and knows ups and downs, like other sectors,” says the filmmaker. “Before asking, I think that positive proposals must be structured so that not only the State intervenes, which in the end we are all, but also private initiative. With people dying by the hundreds, we are not going to say what about ours, “he concludes.

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