ERC now threatens to knock down the Budgets if the 6% Catalan quota does not affect Netflix and HBO

  • Republicans, aware of the invulnerability of multinationals, warn that they will send everything “to hell”: “The tongue is sacred to ERC

  • The Government urges Republicans to work “together“during the processing of the project in Congress but without violating the European framework

One month after the negotiation on the amendments to the totality of the General State Budgets (PGE), which resulted in the pact of a fee for the production, dubbing and subtitling in Catalan of audiovisual products, ERC now assumes that, for now, that agreement good for little. The main objective, that Catalan is present in the main platforms of streaming, the most consumed, such as Netflix and HBO, they are out of reach. A secret that although the Republicans did not spread, knowing the real scope, they also did nothing to stop. Nor did the Government, until this Tuesday it made the hare jump. Faced with the commotion generated, late in the afternoon, the ERC leader in Congress, Gabriel Rufián, threatened to overturn the audiovisual law and even the Budgets, if the Government does not put multinationals in the path of 6 %. “For ERC the language is sacred. It’s bad business to touch our noses with this. Everything can go to hell, “warned the Republican.

And the fact is that the Executive clarified the ends of the audiovisual bill that was already sent to Congress for processing, and it did so at a key point, in which ERC put the accent in recent months, on the protection of co-official languages . The first vice president, Nadia Calviño, did not detail it in her initial presentation at the press conference after the Council of Ministers on Tuesday, and avoided the direct question of the press, but later sources from her environment clearly specified the outline of the norm and rejected that it could oblige multinationals such as Netflix, HBO O Amazon Prime Video. It is not possible, they justified, because this is what the European Commission imposes, and that point cannot be modified via amendment as it passes through Congress or the Senate.

“For ERC, the issue of language is sacred, and touching noses with this excuse is bad business”, warns Rufián

Thus, those who will have the obligation to create works in Catalan, Galician and Basque will be national operators, such as Movistar+, Filmin, FlixOlé, Mitele Plus —The Mediaset platform, owner of Telecinco and Cuatro— or Atresplayer Premium (Atresmedia streaming provider, owner of Antena 3 and La Sexta).

Of course, ERC is not satisfied with the project of audiovisual law approved by the Council of Ministers this Tuesday and announced that will submit amendments to improve it. “We are working on it”, Republican sources point out. Others do not see so sure that it does not affect or that it cannot be achieved that they are affected. Some party sources acknowledged being aware of this impermeability of multinationals.

“The stages are open”

Rufián, in his evening speech, anticipated his threat to veto everything with a “if that information is true.” The Republican recalled the Executive’s commitment to approve the law only with ERC, so the Republican blockade would put the bipartisan in serious difficulties before Europe. And not only with regard to audiovisual regulations and Budgets, because Rufián added: “The majority that allows us to move forward according to what laws would be greatly affected.”

Not surprisingly, this law was the keystone on which the Republicans themselves supported their budget pact, obscuring other demands and achievements much more pecuniary and typical of a negotiation on State accounts. For all these reasons, and before the Senate process, Rufián stressed, in a clear threatening tone, that “all stages are open“. Indeed,

If Esquerra torpedoes the Budgets in the upper house or even knocks them down, the Government would have a very difficult time reversing this veto in Congress

If Esquerra torpedoes the Budgets in the upper house or even overthrows them, the Government would have a very difficult time reversing this veto in Congress by losing the support of the Republicans.

The Government did not seem to lose its calm in the minutes after the ERC ordain, and graduated its initial refusal to touch on the conflictive point: Executive sources revalidated their “commitment to the protection of languages” and insisted that the parliamentary procedure to be open now it is “the moment to work together” and overcome pitfalls. In other words, it will be now, in Congress, where an attempt will be made to explore the paths left free by the European directive to reach an agreement that satisfies everyone but does not imply violating the community framework.

“He has cheated again”

The bill that the Executive presented this Tuesday emanates from the obligation to transpose the audiovisual communication services directive. In fact, Spain is late, since it had to have integrated the European standard before September 19, 2020, and Brussels already gave a Touch attention to Member States that had not done their homework.

JxCat insists on coordinating sovereignty in Madrid and proposes to agree on the amendment that guarantees “Catalan on all platforms”

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The Government also wanted modernize the regulation of the sector and take advantage of the springboard of European funds to make Spain an audiovisual ‘hub’, the most important production node in the continent, the “Europe Hollywood“, as defined by Pedro Sánchez on his tour to the United States last July, when he met with multinationals in Los Angeles to try to attract investment. For the success of the ‘hub’, located in Madrid, it is essential not to tighten the nuts ( read quotas), for example, to Netflix, which already produces in Spain.

Junts, obviously, took advantage of the situation to dunk bread, although strangely he did not take on ERC either. Monica Sales, post-convergent spokesman in the Parliament, asserted that “the Government of PSOE and Podemos has returned to deceive and ignore the requests of Catalan parties, institutions and companies “. Of course, he brought the fire to the sardine of JxCat by pointing out that what happened” highlights the need to coordinate the independence movement in Madrid “, something that they are pursuing eagerly and that ERC bangs. Nevertheless, Together it proposes “to agree together the amendment that can guarantee Catalan on all platforms “.

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