4.2.3 Cultural/creative industries: policies and programmes
The state continues to be the primary sponsor of culture. Privatisation of cultural infrastructure and organisations is not part of the current policy priorities. Private sponsorship of the arts decreased after an early 1990s tax exemption was withdrawn (in 1997); new provisions (2007) re-introduce extensive tax exemptions for arts sponsorship, to be approved if bona fidae by a bureau under the authority of the Ministry of Culture. New measures being considered include: schemes involving a few banks and multinationals supporting blockbuster events produced by large-scale national institutions in the arts; other types of incentives.
Constrained by limited funding, the Ministry of Culture has focussed support for the culture industries through sector organisations and the rationalisation of funding initiatives. Thus, the National Book Centre is the main vehicle of support for Greek books, and has recently engaged in a broad-ranging programme of subsidised translations and other activities to promote Greek literature. The Greek Film Centre now supports the annual production of a significant number of Greek films, within an increased budget of 7 million euro. Independent (private) theatre companies are supported by a subsidy scheme (ca 1.5 million euro worth), which was recently rationalised to follow a more consistent set of criteria on artistic contributions and past performance; subsidies are given to selected dance performances, operating under the same principle.
Earlier cultural policy, based on the integration and synergy between cultural heritage and cultural action, and the state and local government, is gradually replaced by a shift towards accountability and financial exploitation of cultural goods using private sector criteria, encouraged through the establishment of "showcase" events for the promotion of Greek performing arts abroad, and supporting measures...