La Moncloa assumes that there will be mandatory percentages protection of co-official languages in audiovisual law, but wants to include incentives prosecutors
The only deadline ahead is the last week of December and there is still no principle of agreement. But the first chips are already moving in an issue on which the future of the General State Budgets for 2022 depends: the audiovisual law, which the Government is negotiating with ERC. The Executive knows that he has no choice but to close a quota of “production, dubbing and subtitling“In Catalan and in the rest of the co-official languages. But, at the same time, it offers to complement this percentage (not yet detailed) with aid to the platforms so that they include audiovisual works in Catalan, Basque and Galician, in addition to Spanish, in their catalog. . This mixed formula It is the one that understands that it would allow it to fulfill the commitment acquired with the Republicans on October 29 so that they will not present a total amendment to state accounts, while making it easier for platforms – often large multinationals – to comply with a regulatory requirement that can hinder their business and cause them to flee the country.
The independentistas, for their part, remain at the table and ask to speed up the work, although they have not put forward any ultimatums. For now, they believe that the pact should be tied before the processing of the Budgets is completed in the Senate, at the end of next month. December 31 is also the deadline committed to Brussels in the recovery plan for the Council of Ministers to refer the bill to Parliament.
The Executive of Pedro Sánchez shares the need to “support and defend the co-official languages”, as reiterated by the chief negotiator and vice president de facto politician, Félix Bolaños, and also the head of the Treasury, María Jesús Montero. It alleges that this protection is a constitutional mandate and that, therefore, the large content producers – Netflix, HBO, Apple TV or Amazon Prime Video – must be made aware that they must produce not only in Spanish, but at the same time fear that if the nuts are tightened too much choose to go to another country. Montero said it in the entire debate of the PGE in his reply to the ERC spokesman, Gabriel Rufián: “We do not incorporate anything to the legal texts that could scare away or hinder the arrival of investments “.
The new law is born from the obligation to transpose the directive of audiovisual communication services, which Spain should have undertaken before September 19, 2020. Brussels already gave a Touch of attention to the Member States that had not fulfilled their obligation. But the Executive also included his proposal to make Spain a hub audiovisual in the recovery plan, and is part of it in component 25. Sánchez intends to make the country the “Hollywood of Europe”, as he raised last July in Los Angeles, on his tour of the United States. In other words, that Spain becomes a powerful node for film and television production, with advantageous conditions for production companies. The president has pampered the sector, for which a investment of 200 million euros.
The Executive fears the flight of the platforms and that is why it insists on tax benefits in a law that arises from a European obligation and from Sánchez’s will to make Spain the “Hollywood of Europe”
The protection of Catalan in legal reform has become one of the workhorses for ERC. The Executive’s preliminary draft, drawn up by the Ministry of the Economy, provided for television on demand (streaming platforms) to be reserved for European works at least 30% of the catalog. And, “at least”, 50% of that quota would have to be kept for works “in the official language of the State or in one of the official languages of the autonomous communities.” That wording favored Castilian. The Executive tried to convince ERC that it was better to shield Catalan, Basque and Galician by offering public aid to the producers, not stipulating quotas. But the Republicans insisted and made that point. In order not to present the entire amendment to the PGE, the Executive and ERC agreed, two weeks ago, that both would agree to the law and that “the best formulas to guarantee a percentage of production, dubbing and subtitling in co-official languages ”.
The first vice president, Nadia Calviño, avoided talking about quotas as soon as the agreement was signed. “We are going to work on the different instruments to see how this double objective can be articulated in the best possible way: to promote audiovisual production, the audiovisual industry, and protect the wealth of co-official languages ”, he pointed out from the G-20 summit in Rome.
“There will be a percentage“They point out from Moncloa emphatically.” What we have not agreed to is the exact percentage. You have to work with them. There is nothing closed and Economy is talking, but there will be quotas and tax benefits for companies that apply the quota, “the same top-level sources advance to EL PERIÓDICO. That is, the Executive admits that the official language protection quota” there will be “and” will be obligatory“for the production companies, but now” we have to see how.
The legal reform, as committed to Brussels, must be approved and enter into force in the first quarter of 2022
For the moment, the Government a ‘deadline’ is not marked, a final term to close the negotiation, although the ERC management points towards the end of the PGE processing as a ceiling. Republicans warn that, in case of disagreement, they could veto the accounts in the Senate, but for the upper house to approve an absolute majority is requiredTherefore, if it were to prosper, it would need not only the PP, but also minority groups. As stated in the Operational Agreement signed by the Government and the European Commission, the audiovisual law must be approved and enter into force in the first quarter of 2022Hence, the Economy expects to have the project ready, for submission to Parliament, before the end of this year. Compliance with the milestones set in the recovery plan between June 30 and December 31, 2021 will determine the disbursement of European funds planned for the first half of 2022, of more than 13,000 million, the largest of the eight planned, and that will add a total of 69,512.6 million euros in grants until 2026.
In ERC they handle the negotiation in the midst of great secrecy. Republican sources do acknowledge that they are working on the percentage of production, dubbing and subtitling, which they understand as mandatory, as well as “in other formulas“, which would be complementary to the quota. Of course, the independentistas are bothered by the pace of work, which is not frantic. This Friday, already on the account of the PGE, the party spokesperson, Marta VilaltaHe sent an unequivocal message: “The ball is on the roof of the PSOE and UP Government. They are the ones who should seek support.”
ERC admits that they are working on a percentage, which they understand as mandatory, as well as “in other formulas”, which would be complementary to the quota
The Government has promised to close the reform of the audiovisual sector with ERC, but it also has an open dialogue with another of its regular partners, the PNV, as confirmed by sources of the training, because it is a matter that worries him greatly. Like the four deputies of the PDECat, more likely to understand with the Executive than their former allies of Junts. Postconvergents, however, are not in favor of setting quotas.
“The obligation is to do it well”
Socialists insist on the opportunity of tax incentives, so that the establishment of percentages is not an unaffordable “barrier” for the platforms. “They look at their profitability and the imperative does not work. Canary Islands it is being an example: with tax attractions it has been possible to attract production to the islands, “say party leadership sources familiar with the talks, who trust that the combination of quotas and aid will end up convincing ERC.
From the PSC they recall that the Generalitat has breached the Catalan film law, of 2010, which requires 25% of films with subtitles or dubbed, and does not reach 3%
The PSC of Salvador Illa, aware of the negotiations, continues to denounce the “breaches“of the Generalitat: the Catalan film law, of 2010, establishes a 25% share of films subtitled or dubbed into Catalan —In the original wording, 50% was established, but the Constitutional Court cut it in half in 2017-, when in the rooms, today, it does not reach 3%.
The negotiation therefore continues. The Executive trusts that its mixed formula of aid and quotas will convince ERC. And before the pressure of Brussels by the times, they respond in the Moncloa that “the obligation is to do it well“, because the audiovisual law, which goes far beyond shielding the languages of the State, supposes a structural reform of the sector, which has as an end coordinate at European level both traditional television broadcasts (linear) and on-demand services (on demand), as well as video exchange platforms.