site.btaTrade Unions Cancel Cultural Events for Week in October if Culture Budget Is not Increased
Trade unions are preparing to call off cultural events in Bulgaria for a week in October if the budget for the culture sector is not increased. This was announced by the chairman of the Union of Bulgarian Artists (UBA) Hristo Mutafchiev at a press conference in BTA.
He said that theatrical and musical performances and concerts will be cancelled and galleries, museums, community centres and libraries will be closed.
Mutafchiev explained that this action is a reaction to the preparation by the caretaker government of a state budget in which BGN 37 million is "taken away", to use his words, from the Culture Ministry.
Culture organizations demand that 1% of the gross domestic product (GDP) be allocated to the culture sector in the 2024 budget.
Moutafchiev referred to Finance Ministry figures showing that the cultural industries generated 5.6% of the GDP in 2020 and 6% in 2021. "In contrast, our sector gets 0.5% from the government," the UBA chairman said.
Mutafchiev said that talks had been held with Bulgarian National Television and Bulgarian National Radio to support the protest actions.
The press conference was also attended by representatives of the Podkrepa Confederation of Labor chapter in theatre, music and dance, the Union of Bulgarian Musicians and Dancers, the culture chapter of the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions of Bulgaria, and employers in the theatre sector.