Prague, July 27 (CTK) – The draft budget of the Czech Culture Ministry for 2016 will be increased by about 750 million crowns from the original 10.5 billion crowns, Culture Minister Daniel Herman (Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL) said after talks with Finance Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) Monday.
This year, the Culture Ministry budget is some 11.5 billion crowns.
Herman said he would be satisfied if the next year’s budget would be around 12 billion.
The two ministers are to meet again to discuss the Culture Ministry budget in August.
Herman said he agreed with Babis on further 300 million crowns for incentives for foreign filmmakers and 180 million for support to Czech films.
In total, the 2016 budget should include 800 millions for the incentives and 400 million for new Czech film production.
Herman said extra 70 million crowns will go to pay rises because the salaries in cultural institutions financed by the state are deeply below the average level.
In 2014, the average monthly pay in the National Gallery was 18,500 crowns and a curator doing his job 20 years earned 21,665 crowns a month. The average monthly pay in the country was over 25,000 crowns last year.
Herman said the finances for investments were increased as well.
The Culture Ministry covers the costs of the reconstructions of the National Library (Klementinum) and the National Museum. New projects drawing EU subsidies are being prepared, which require the state’s financial participation, Herman said.
The centre-left government of Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) promised that the spending on culture would reach 1 percent of the Czech state budget spending in 2017, excluding the spending on churches that is part of the ministry’s agenda.
Annually, 3.5 billion crowns are given to churches in the form of financial compensation for the unreturned property, which had been confiscated from the churches after the 1948 communist coup, and contributions to the operation of the churches.
This year, the spending on culture is about 0.61 percent of the state budget.
If the government is to meet its plan, Herman should have 12.8 billions in the budget in 2016 and 15.4 billions in 2017.