José Guirao, the minister of concord

Nineteen months, 9 of them in operation, this has been the time that José Guirao has been at the forefront of the Culture portfolio, a year and seven months of concord with the sector that come to an end after Pedro Sánchez has not revalidated office.

Cultural and artistic manager, Guirao (Pulpí, Almería, 1959), reached the frontline of Spanish politics on June 13, 2018 after the rapid departure of Màxim Huerta.

And his arrival was received with unanimous acceptance by the Spanish culture sector, because this 61-year-old from Almeria had a career behind him, in which the direction of the Reina Sofía Museum stands out between 1994 and 2000, years in which the institution He acquired two Picassos and expanded his collection with works by Juan Gris and Joan Miró.

Between 2001 and 2013 he was also in charge of La Casa Encendida, a cultural center of reference and vanguard of the capital of Spain where he was able to give free rein to his passion for this artistic trend.

Since then, and until he received the call from Pedro Sánchez, Guirao served as general director of the Montemadrid Foundation, whose objective is to improve the quality of life and the inclusion of people in social difficulty.

And it was a difficulty that welcomed him in his new position to "Pepe", as he is known in his closest circle: to reverse the decision of Minister Méndez de Vigo (PP) to merge the Teatro de la Zarzuela and the Royal Theater.

So much so that the Government of Sanchez repealed the royal decree of this merger, which was approved by the Government of Mariano Rajoy, after "technical, legal and operational" uncertainties, especially as regards "the subrogation of workers" .

With this problem resolved, another one of Guirao's headaches has been the Sgae, a story still without end in sight that in the absence of new statutes made Culture react by sending 13 requirements and a warning, as well as asking the audience National a partial intervention of what is the largest copyright management entity in Spain.

A conflict situation is not similar to the example of understanding in favor of Culture that the Culture Commission of the Congress of Deputies demonstrated by unanimously taking forward the Statute of the Artist, a document with 75 measures to be developed progressively.

And from them the Government took forward 40% thanks to a decree law with emergency measures on artistic creation and cinematography, which gave the green light to make the pension of retired authors compatible with copyright, among others.

In the list of assets of Almeria is also the fact of having become the prime minister who has participated in the ceremony of the Gaudí awards, the delivery of the awards of the Catalan cinema that in 2019 celebrated his 11th birthday.

A visit to Catalonia to which we must add 15 more, because they have been a total of 16 times that he has traveled there for different reasons, such as the International Fantastic Film Festival of Sitges, the funeral of Montserrat Caballe or the opening of Liceo season.

But as in all the stories, and more if they are of political content, there are promises that remain in that, promises. This has been the Law of Patronage, a rule that is still not approved although it was one of the proposals of Guirao in his first days of government (so was the previous government of the PP).

Although this new legislature may see the light in this new legislation, in the list of things to do is also complete the Statute of the Artist, create the Office of Copyright, shape and approve the future Law of the new Institute National Performing Arts (Inaem) and continue advancing in a positive taxation for cultural industries.

A measure is contemplated in the State Pact that Pedro Sánchez announced for the cultural sector and that would include the reduction of VAT on the electronic book, which would increase from 21% to 4%.


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