A state fund will cover part of the Catalan quota that Netflix does not assume | Spain

ERC's parliamentary spokesman, Gabriel Rufián, intervenes in the plenary session of Congress this Tuesday.
ERC’s parliamentary spokesman, Gabriel Rufián, intervenes in the plenary session of Congress this Tuesday.Kiko Huesca (EFE)

The Government and ERC maintain their contacts permanently these days to close an agreement in the audiovisual law that implies that the State Budget project for 2022 is definitively ratified next Tuesday 21 in the Senate plenary session. It was the great objective of the PSOE in these negotiations, that the public accounts “of the recovery” after the pandemic were approved with a wide margin in the upper house without the need to return to Congress for a new vote before the end of the year. The Budgets that could take the legislature to the end would thus save all the parliamentary procedures before the Christmas holidays and will allow the Government to end the year with prospects of considerable stability. The negotiation has all signs of bearing fruit shortly.

The key to the agreement, according to ERC and Executive sources, is that Republicans have accepted the idea that it is unfeasible to force international platforms such as Netflix, HBO, Amazon Prime or Disney + to guarantee a 6% production quota in co-official languages. That is something that the norm drawn up by Economía, with Vice President Nadia Calviño at the helm, forces only national platforms to do.

ERC demanded, and threatened to complicate the Budgets if it did not succeed, that this quota be made mandatory for everyone. But in the negotiation, Economy has insisted that this was impossible because it goes against the European directive and also because it could scare away investments from international platforms that are a strategic objective for the Government, which wants to make Spain an international axis of audiovisual production .

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After much tug of war, the pact that is about to be closed revolves around compensation in the form of a state fund, the details of which are being finalized and will finance part of the production in Catalan (another is already done in a large way by the Generalitat: 20.4 million dedicated to this purpose this year, with a forecast of 25 million for 2022, reports Toni Polo) In addition to dubbing, with rules that also force large platforms to put in their catalog large productions that are already dubbed into Catalan and yet do not appear as available. All with the intention of promoting the co-official languages ​​to the maximum, an idea with which the Government and Calviño herself insist that they are committed. ERC is now polishing with the Executive how other types of aid, incentives and subsidies are reflected both for the development of new audiovisual products in Catalan and for the translation of existing material.

This Monday many papers were exchanged to finish off the details, but the underlying political pact is practically made, according to sources from both sectors. It only remains to be announced.

Esquerra has tightened in these last days of negotiation also in other matters in which they observe clear discrepancies with the Executive, such as the democratic memory law, the waste law or the lowering of VAT for hairdressers. The ERC spokesperson in Congress, Gabriel Rufián, expressed the moment of the negotiations like this: “We already warned that the ERC vote was sweating, and I think it is sweating.”

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Rufián regretted this Monday that other pro-independence parties, especially in reference to Junts, had not added more to his lever of pressure on his defense of the Catalan to have achieved better performance. The ERC spokesperson has been insisting for weeks that this demand for Catalan, as well as the other policies of linguistic immersion, should be nuclear and “transversal” for all Catalan formations, including the PSC.

ERC negotiators, in any case, continue with their contacts at the highest level because they are fully aware that it is time to “tighten” their interlocutors and close commitments, now that the votes of their formation are so decisive for the Budgets prosper in time and form. Even so, ERC could only complicate the process, but not prevent it. The Budgets have already overcome the vetoes in Congress and the Senate and would go ahead in any case.

ERC registered last Friday, at the deadline, up to 17 amendments in the Senate that will be discussed in its Budget committee this Wednesday and Thursday. It was a tactical move, to show his enormous current pressure capabilities. The Government understood it that way. In one of those amendments, ERC once again demands a millionaire fund for the fight against covid-19 from the autonomies similar to the one that Junts required in one of its partial amendments in Congress, which the Treasury rejected in the end because it was much higher than money that it was asked to change from another game.

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Sources involved in the talks assure that the positions are already so close as to bet that the Budgets will pass this phase of the commission without problems this week and can be definitively approved without amendments on the 21st.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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