Slovene Music Industry Asks for More Coronavirus State Aid Until Concerts Possible

By , 16 Sep 2020, 13:14 PM Lifestyle
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STA, 15 September 2020 - The Slovenian music industry, one of the businesses worst hit by Covid-19, has come up with a set of proposals it wants the government to include in its next anti-corona package. Until all restrictions applying to concerts are lifted and beyond, the Music Industry Coalition ad-hoc group wants wage subsidies and a monthly basic income.

Events such as concerts are limited to 50 to 500 people while all strict recommendations must be respected as well, including social distancing.

There is also a requirement of an eight-metre distance between performers and the audience.

However, the group argues singing is no riskier than talking when it comes to contracting the virus, labelling the eight-metre measure "completely incomprehensible".

Until all the restrictions are lifted and for another three months after that, the group, set up in mid-August, proposes exemption from payment of social security contributions for the self-employed and 700 euro in monthly basic income.

For workers on permanent employment contracts, the state should pay all contributions and taxes, while furloughed workers should have their pay subsidised.

The proposals were drafted with the help of a survey which tried to find the extent to which coronavirus restrictions had affected the music and events industries.

The survey has shown that more than 90% of the respondents have had their income more than halved compared to last year, a condition for state aid in previous anti-corona legislation.

It has also shown that 57% of the industry's workers, among them many self-employed musicians, have been left without any aid since 1 June.

The Coalition estimates the music industry in Slovenia employs around 6,000 people, while the figure for the entire events industry is around 15,000.

Based of the information from concert organisers and from Eventim, which has a 50% share in ticket sales, the loss of income from concerts was estimated at EUR 150-180 million.

Matija Prezelj from the GIZ KOS association of concert organisers told the STA the vast majority of the industry had been left out of the first four stimulus packages.

However, the Economy Ministry has now acknowledged the problems and would propose measures drafted on the basis of the group's proposals be included in the new legislation, he said.

The group also proposes a timeline to gradually lift restrictive measures at concerts so that live events could run without any restrictions in the second half of 2021.

The Music Industry Coalition brings together independent musicians, their trade union and several other associations from the music and events industries, from artists to organisers and support staff.

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