DecryptedThe President of the Republic ensured the survival of the sector during the Covid-19 epidemic. He injected massive funds without revolutionizing cultural policy.
It was not planned in his program, but it will remain as one of the feats of his five-year term. To preserve the world of culture from the consequences of Covid-19, Emmanuel Macron has put nearly 15,000 million euros on the table. A desperate figure, more than three times higher than the annual budget of the Ministry of Culture, but which has kept the heads of professionals afloat. “The virus forced us, like the vast majority of countries, to close cultural spaces for several months. It was not lightly. But what will remain is that we have done everything we can to protect the industry and help it recover.” we want to believe in the Elysee.
In fact, the Government spared no means during the two years of health crisis. “White year” of eighteen months for intermittent artists (1,300 million euros), sectoral aid for cinema or music (1,700 million), partial unemployment for employees (1,300 million), state-guaranteed loans for companies (4,200 million), recovery (2 billion)… “Everything will be done to protect (…), It does not matter that, promised the Head of State, on March 12, 2020, during his first televised speech dedicated to Covid-19. And it is not over: various support systems for the sector have been maintained.
“No Social Break”
Of course, professionals were sometimes vehement during the crisis, particularly to denounce classification “Not essensial” of your industry. “This expression has been misunderstood, because it has been badly explained”, recognizes the deputy (LRM, Bas-Rhin) Bruno Studer, president of the cultural affairs commission of the National Assembly. But many of them admit the effort made by the Executive. “The State was there to compensate. There has been no social rupture neither among artists nor in companies”, grants Pascal Rogard, general director of the Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers (SACD). “We have been closed for three hundred days in two years, it has been painful. But, in the end, the government ensured the survival of the place.” abounds Marc-Olivier Sebbag, general delegate of the National Federation of French Cinemas.
The health crisis will have had the merit of demonstrating the importance of unemployment insurance for intermittent work in preserving the cultural sector.
“The State’s commitment to support the sector has been exemplary, it also judges Nicolás Dubourg, president of the National Union of Artistic and Cultural Companies. In Europe, France has been envied, acclaimed. » The health crisis will have had the merit, in particular, of demonstrating the importance of unemployment insurance due to the intermittence of the show in the preservation of the cultural sector. There is also an unmistakable signal: no more candidates for the 2022 presidential elections are calling for the abolition of this long-denounced regime, especially on the right.
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