The board of directors of the SGAE forces a motion of censure against Hevia | Culture
Some SGAE member usually compares the intrigues of power within the entity with those of Game of Thrones. There are no dragons, not much epic, in the main body of management of copyright in Spain, but it shares with the series at least one curse: who sits in the most powerful chair is not destined to last. The reign of the current president of the SGAE, José Ángel Hevia, staggers after less than four months, since this morning a document with the 18 signatures of as many executives needed to force his dismissal has been presented in the entity's registry, as EL PAÍS has learned. This is how the censorship motion mechanism begins: the statutes indicate that the president must convene an extraordinary board of directors, on the date he decides, where his continuity or cessation will be voted. Several members of the government of the SGAE asked the Asturian musician to resign before, but he did not accept. Hevia can therefore be the fifth consecutive president who does not finish his term.
On the one hand, the past condemns Hevia: since in 2011 the then responsible Eduardo Bautista ended up being detained by the Civil Guard -continues waiting to sit on the bench, accused of alleged misappropriation-, there has been no peace for the leader of the SGAE. Antón Reixa was dismissed by the board itself; José Luis Acosta advanced the elections, won them but ended up resigning. And José Miguel Fernández Sastrón was also forced to call the elections last October, due to the blockade suffered by the entity. Hevia assumed the command then, promising unity and concord, which have ended up flying through the air. On the other hand, the piper can cling to a positive precedent: Sastrón himself exceeded in 2017 a motion of censure, which was reinforced, at least for a few months.
The situation in the current dome of the SGAE has gone wild after the Ministry of Culture requested written authorization from the National High Court to intervene in the entity and gain control, for at least six months. If the petition is accepted, Culture has announced the elimination of the current board of directors, composed of 35 members, and the appointment of a manager who would take charge of the controversial house, to put order in the traceability of the collected rights and their distribution , reform the statutes and establish electronic voting. That is to say, the three changes that the ministry demands in vain from the SGAE since September.
Although the government of the entity would be neutralized with the intervention, the uncertain deadlines for the judge's response, the announcement of advancement of General Elections as well as the nuances offered by José Guirao, Minister of Culture - he said after submitting the letter that if the SGAE "is updated" maybe there is no reason to carry out the intervention - leave in the air once again the future of the organism. It is very likely that it is a decision of the next executive, hence, in the meantime, within the house the power struggles continue and the motion of censure has gone ahead.
What began as an idyllic and unprecedented relationship in the heart of the organization, with the four schools (musicians, audiovisual, editors and performing arts) clocking each other to avoid possible ministerial intervention, has had a cainite end. So much so that three of the four vice presidents of the entity (Antonio Onetti, Fermín Cabal and Clifton J. Williams) are now opposed to Hevia. And Onetti is even running as the successor of the Asturian piper, although his step forward also generates opposition, amazement and rejection in several members of the board. "It's a ridiculous and foolish move," says one of them.
Back, then, to war. If the outgoing meeting of the last elections was presented to the media as the unit, in four months everything has exploded. Then, Cabal, vice president of the College of Great Law (performing arts), claimed that his abstention vote in favor of Hevia had only one meaning: to save the SGAE. "We live a worrying moment, on the verge of extinction. We have to fix it from the inside, "he said. Onetti, vice president of the Audiovisual College, also assured that they were united to overcome "the unbreathable climate" that in his opinion was lived in the institution. "It does not make sense that we work from the confrontation. We want to reach consensus and solve the Culture requirement, "he explained. But none of this happened.
The dialogue stumbled when Hevia took the decision, at his own risk, to commission a report to a law firm (linked to Antena3) and file a complaint with the Provincial Prosecutor's Office of Madrid, against several music publishers and the thousands of authors who represent The SGAE accused them of tax fraud for creating screens to pay less, but the prosecution filed the complaint dismissing it. This error increased the tension within the board, which went off a few days ago when Hevia left a meeting insulting her colleagues. That the deontological commission of the SGAE pointed to Hevia, along with 13 other people, in a situation of conflict of interest has not helped the tranquility of the musician on the throne. I had enough with the curse already.