ATHENS – "From the very start, the government and the culture ministry drew up a comprehensive management strategy, when the lockdown was imposed in March, that also included the culture sector. For the government, culture and those involved in it have never been an exception," stated Culture and Sports Minister Lina Mendoni, speaking during the regular press briefing given by government spokesperson Stelios Petsas on Thursday.
"All the measures were applied horizontally but culture has its peculiarities. The immediate measures taken were to support workers and businesses in the sector, to support the market with developmental measures," said Mendoni.
She took part in the briefing to present the special actions taken in the short- and medium-term to support the culture sector, as discussed during a government video conference on Wednesday chaired by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
"There was a dual target from the beginning, starting in March. It was to keep the culture sector strong and to support artists. We are interested in supporting labour not unemployment. We do not want a non-cultural landscape in Greece due to the pandemic, we do not want a non-cultural summer in 2020," she added.
She announced that immediate support measures will allow all those whose contracts ended prematurely between March 1-20 to also qualify for the 800-euro special monthly income support. She also noted that all those that received a special seasonal benefit for September-November 2019 and were not receiving regular unemployment benefit in the first quarter of the year will also get the 800 euros from May 13-19.
"Μaybe the most important of the measure we assumed was the decision to create an artists' registry. It is a long-term strategic reform that will clear up the landscape," stated Mendoni.
Specifically, she said that a platform will operate at the website artandcultureprofessionals.services.gov.gr from May 13, on the labour ministry's 'Ergani' platform that will create a record of artists per sector and will develop into a Culture Ministry's Artists' registry.
"It is the first time that the real forces of culture will be recorded with transparency so that the establishment of political and funding tools will become easier and more effective," Mendoni said.