The Ministry of Culture has finally agreed to the claim of the world of performing arts and music and has extended the deadlines to guarantee that the allocation of 18 million European funds destined for the modernization of the structures of the sector reaches the companies that they have requested.
As this newspaper advanced, hundreds of companies feared having to give up aid because Inaem, without sufficient personnel to attend to these requests, was not in a position to resolve the procedures in the expected time. With today's announcement, administration and companies will gain three more months.
The body in charge of managing state-produced theatre, dance and music released a press release on Tuesday informing that tomorrow they will publish on the website of the Ministry of Culture the order to extend the deadlines for resolution, execution and Justification of the procedure for granting these aids, which in total amount to 17,930,000 euros.
Thus, Inaem will have until October 24 to resolve the 1,800 proposals submitted, and the execution period, which expired in September, will now end in December, so that the Next Generation funds will also cover projects started at the end of the year and they will give more air to a sector that has not yet recovered from the Covid crisis.
With this extension, the Government hopes to solve a problem caused by the lack of personnel within the Inaem, which these months has had to manage the ordinary aid from the ministry with the extraordinary ones from Brussels. There are barely twelve ministry workers, including civil servants and staff from the theater and music sections, dedicated to this task.
The minister himself, Miquel Iceta, acknowledged a few days ago that Culture does not have a "useful" staff to deal with these efforts, although he attributed it to the freezing of the public employment offer by the Rajoy Government. To resolve these funds, the ministry has turned to the public company Tragsatec, "being the work of the official staff the final phases of assessment and resolution of the procedure."
Jesús Cimarro, president of Faepeda and one of the main theatrical producers in the country, has declared his “joy” that the ministry has made this extension: “So that everyone can access the corrections and comply with the protocols, the logical thing was extend the deadline. What we expected has been achieved."
Now, he hopes that the communities, which must manage another item of 22 million euros for the modernization of infrastructures, will follow the same example. Only five of them have complied on time. “They are beginning to respond, but very few. When the turn of the communities comes, we will do the same.”
Valeria Cosi, president of Feced, which brings together dance associations, has assessed "very positively" that the deadline has been extended: "This surely allows for a margin of execution, as long as the resolution arrives as soon as possible and that this leaves room for us to carry out all the projects presented. We hope that on this occasion they will not run out of the resolution period again."
Feced had warned that the resolution published in the BOE last December gave a period of six months for the administration to resolve the requests for help, and that this period expired today, June 28. The Inaem, which these days continues to attend to the corrections of the projects presented, told them that it would hardly publish the final resolution before September, which left the companies with no margin to execute them.
In the press release that informs of the extension of the execution period to October 24, Inaem assures instead that this process ended on July 24. Culture explains that the administration considers that this six-month margin begins to count from January 24, when a correction of errors in the call was published in the National Database of Subsidies.
Culture, which a few weeks ago transmitted to the sector that it did not have the tools to apply this extension, has ended up finding this administrative shortcut to respond to the demands of the sector.