Country Focus: Portugal
Government budget for 2014 increases endowment for the Portuguese cultural sector
by Vitor Pinto
- Portugal’s government budget for 2014, presented this week by the team chaired by PM Pedro Passos Coelho, will guarantee the cultural and creative sectors a total amount of 198.8 M€ - a general increase of 8.6 M€ when compared to the 2013 budget.
The allocated endowment for the Film Museum in the 2014 budget is of 3.38 M€. The figure represents a reduction of about 1 M€ when compared to 2013. The director of the Film Museum, Maria João Seixas, however announced that the government has assured the institution 1.3 M€ more, to be issued from the Cultural Promotion Fund. This sort of compensation for the upcoming year comes after some bumpy moments recently experienced by the Film Museum, during which there was a serious risk of the institution stopping its activities altogether (news).
As for Portugal’s film institute, the ICA, the estimated cost for 2014 is 20.1 M€ - or 1.8 M€ less than in 2013. This decrease happens at a particularly delicate moment, as subscription-based television operators are refusing to respect the new Film Law, approved in 2012. Instead of paying their contribution, which would be used to finance the sector, companies Zon/Optimus, Cabovisão, PT and Vodafone have decided not to do so to the despair of the local professionals who have claimed in vain a strong government intervention.
The government budget for 2014 is being discussed and causing social discontent mainly for non cultural-related issues. Despite potential changes to the original proposal, it is expected that it will be approved effortlessly as the current government – a right-wing coalition between social democrats and Popular Party – holds the majority of seats in parliament.