Wednesday, February 21

Culture will hire 600 officials for “the most ambitious budgets in history”

The Culture budgets for 2023 have once again set a ceiling. The accounts, which will have to be approved in the Congress of Deputies, have been defended by the minister Miquel Iceta, who has taken out what he has described as the “most ambitious budgets in history”. Also those who have more money. The global figure amounts to 1,804 million, 13.5% more than the previous year, a figure that, as he clarified, “corresponds to the whole of cultural and sports policy and which includes the budgets of the ministry but also those that are managed from the Cervantes Institute, cultural heritage or Spanish Cultural Action”.

The director Carlos Saura, Goya of Honor 2023

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Iceta has highlighted that with these accounts culture is given “consideration of an essential public good” and wanted to make it clear that “all this comes from the taxes” of the Spanish. Some budgets “designed to strengthen cultural industries, build new audiences and protect workers in the cultural sector”, especially at a time of crisis that affects “social welfare and the middle and working class”.

Looking only at Culture, the budget is 1,703 million euros, of which 296 are from the recovery and resilience fund. The European figure is a little lower than the previous year, but Iceta has clarified that it is not a decrease, but that the distribution was configured like this from the beginning: “They were distributed in three exercises and we prefer not to leave everything for the end, for what the exercise of 2022 was prioritized for it ”.

One of the announcements of these accounts is the hiring of 600 officials, for which 10 million euros will be allocated from the new accounts. The total money to pay salaries – including the already announced salary increase for officials – will amount to 88 million. A figure that aims to “improve management capacity to deal with new needs.” He has denied that this “rush” in contracting, as he has defined it, is due to the difficulties in executing European funds in 2022. “It has nothing to do with the management of those funds, it is for the exercise of the functions entrusted, but not exceptionally.

Yes, some of those 600 new officials will go for positions in state museum rooms, something that, as this newspaper reported, is a clear demand, since some even had to close due to lack of personnel: “Yes, the figure includes, among other things, to fill vacant positions, some of them not only for central services but also in the institutions that depend on the Ministry. This is happening because the previous government set a zero replacement rate for sick leave and retirement. They were not covered, but since the progressive government arrived it is no longer zero and we are making an important effort”.

concern for the rooms

In full hangover from the Film Festival, Iceta expressed concern with the situation of the rooms. “It worries me a lot,” he said emphatically. For this reason, the cinema accounts once again have a game destined for them and greater than the previous year. It will be 14.5 million euros. “Cinema is very important, we are experiencing an extraordinary moment in our cinema, but if we want to strengthen it, people have to return to theaters, at least as before the pandemic. The pandemic has brought very bad things, and one of them is that film consumption habits have focused on television and platforms and not on returning to theaters, and this has an impact on the exhibition sector and we are going to provide that help.”

Cinema is very important, we are experiencing an extraordinary moment in our cinema, but if we want to consolidate it, people have to return to theaters, at least as before the pandemic

miquel iceta
Minister of Culture

The figures of the cinema are the best that are remembered. For the first time, the cinematography protection fund, from which the aid to produce films comes, exceeds 100 million, a historical demand in the sector. It reaches 107 from 70 the previous year, which represents a growth of 52.8%. The total item devoted to cinema increased by 72% to 163 million. 14.5 million are incorporated for the development of scripts and 10 for communities to favor creation in co-official languages.

The cultural bonus seems to be here to stay, and Iceta highlighted it as a star measure for 2023. 210 million euros will be allocated for its implementation. Historical Heritage is another of the areas where it has increased significantly, going from 2.2 million to almost 11. Five times more. Of the museums, the one with the highest increase is the Prado, which receives 13.4 million more than in 2022, but almost all of it will go to the works of the Hall of Kingdoms.