The director of the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE), Darío Villanueva, has launched several times, in recent months, warning signs of the complicated economic situation of the institution. This has been one of the issues he raised with the Minister of Culture and Sports, José Guirao, who visited yesterday the headquarters of the RAE in Madrid. The meeting was held hours after Guirao pronounced "some hopeful statements," explains Villanueva. His optimism was based on these words: "It is not possible that the ministry does not help the SAR economically and not look for other sources of resources so that it continues to do its extraordinary work," Guirao said in an interview on National Radio.
In that conversation, to the question of if Culture was committed to increase the money for the RAE, Guirao responded with a succinct "of course" that matizó immediately: "My leitmotiv is to speak first of project and then of money, "he added without offering more details, as the RAE does not want" the boba soup "of the State, according to Villanueva, he proposed to the minister that the Internet platform Enclave RAE, which contains" everything what the Academy has done, an offer that does not exist in any language ": dictionaries, linguistic consultations, synonyms and exercises to improve Spanish, among other tools," be offered to the State as a resource for the entire Administration and its use in the education. "In return, the RAE would" recover "the monetary contribution of the lost State since the 2008 world crisis.
That year was "the best" in terms of public money that came to the palace located on the street of Felipe IV in Madrid: four million euros, 50% of the budget of the Academy. However, in 2018, that amount was only 1.61 million – by the way, amount received only a few hours ago – which currently accounts for 20% of the budget, which is around 7.5 million. In any case, the decline in those ten years reaches 60%. After the meeting between Villanueva and Guirao, the RAE posted an informative note on its website, but from Culture there were no statements.
Apart from state money, the RAE has three other sources of funding, explained its director, who will leave office in December, when his term ends. First, the pro-RAE Foundation, created in 1993, formed by people and companies that can contribute from 50 euros a year. The economic situation in recent years has made a dent: this contribution has been reduced by 60%. Another way of income is the sponsorships of private entities "for specific projects". And finally, there is the sale of works such as dictionaries. In this section there is a fall, "common to European academies, with a decrease in more than half of what was sold." So much setback "has been compensated with the sponsorship of Dictionary online". While deciding how to inject money into the RAE, Villanueva stresses that he has had to adjust budgets with a staff of 79 workers.
Another hot issue in the RAE is the report that, last July, the Government of Pedro Sánchez, through the vice president, Carmen Calvo, requested to determine whether the text of the Constitution should be modified with the idea that it reflects a greater equality between men and women. The forecast was to deliver it in October. On the last day of this month, however, the commission in charge of this task, formed by two academics and two academics, "is about to finish his presentation and offer a text for which they have acted with absolute freedom," said Villanueva . The next step will be to take that proposal to "a delegated commission to make a first reading." Finally, it will go to the plenary of the institution, which "will study it and prepare a report". However, Villanueva said that the RAE understood that this commission from the Government "was not urgent", since Spain "is not in a constituent process". This means that the approval of a new Fundamental Law requires a large majority in Congress and the Senate, which depending on the articles to be amended can be two thirds, the holding of a referendum and elections, explained to EL COUNTRY last July three professors of Constitutional Law.