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The government is pleased with the outcome and the level of confidence expressed by the public.

2024 April 23
  • The government spokesman highlighted that the campaign has facilitated constructive dialogue on programmes and proposals.
  • Zupiria: "We have fulfilled the social commitment made in the Government Programme.”

Bingen Zupiria, the spokesperson for the Basque Government and Minister for Culture and Language Policy, held a press conference as usual following the Governing Council meeting.

APPROVAL OF VARIOUS GRANTS

At today's meeting, several subsidies were approved. The spokesperson, Bingen Zupiria, highlighted the call for subsidies for the promotion of audiovisual production in the Basque Country, specifically for feature films, short films and series. The Department of Culture and Linguistic Policy has allocated 7,280,000 euros to this call for proposals, representing an increase of 4.8 million euros over the previous year. This year, a new initiative has been launched to encourage the creation of series in Basque with an international and innovative focus. This grant is intended to support the production of a series in Basque. The first season of the series will be produced in the original Basque language and will be of high quality, with a clear international and innovative vocation, from a formal and technical perspective. A sum of 2,000,000 has been allocated for this new section. In last year's call for proposals, 29 projects received funding for the promotion of audiovisual projection.

The Governing Council has also approved subsidies for the 2024-2025 academic year. These  subsidies are aimed at subsidised centres that participate or wish to participate in the Ulibarri Programme for linguistic normalisation in non-university educational centres. This call has a budget of 1,200,000 euros and is aimed at subsidised schools that wish to promote projects for the normalisation of the use of the Basque language. These projects must contribute to the use and normalisation of the language in the day-to-day life of the educational community. Bingen Zupiria, the spokesperson, clarified that both public schools and concertados (state-subsidised private education centres in Spain) participate in the Ulibarri Programme for linguistic normalisation. During this academic year, a total of 410 schools are working with this programme, 231 of which are public and 179 concertados.

Furthermore, the government has approved a direct subsidy to VIA (Sociedad para la promoción del aeropuerto de Vitoria-Gasteiz), with an allocation of 4.5 million euros over the next four years, between 2024 and 2028. This is intended to boost commercial and tourist airport activity in Alava and the Basque Country through regular passenger operations with domestic and international destinations. According to Zupiria, “passenger numbers at Foronda airport have increased significantly in recent years. In the years prior to the pandemic, there was an 78% increase in passenger traffic, with 310,000 people passing through the airport in 2023.”

Finally, the government has approved funding to support entrepreneurship and improve the competitiveness of tourism companies for 2024. The allocation of 1,300,000 euros will facilitate the further strengthening of tourism entrepreneurship and competitiveness. The objective of the initiative is to provide support for the establishment of new tourism businesses in the Basque Country that prioritise local development and the enhancement of the sector's competitiveness through the promotion of technological innovation and its adaptation towards safe, sustainable, responsible and accessible tourism.

THE GOVERNING COUNCIL’S OTHER AGREEMENTS

The spokesperson, Bingen Zupiria, presented a report on other matters addressed and approved at today's Governing Council meeting. These included the approval of the 2025 working calendar for the Basque Country, which maintains the same public holidays as in 2024, with the addition of 8 December (which this year will be on a Sunday) and the omission of 12 October, as in 2025 it coincides with a Sunday.

In response to queries from journalists, the government's designated spokesperson offered an assessment of the outcomes of the recent regional elections. Zupiria noted that the government is pleased with the outcomes and the level of confidence expressed by citizens. "The campaign has provided an excellent forum for discussing programmes and proposals, and the level of participation has been highly beneficial," he said. "As a government, we have fulfilled our obligations under the social contract with Basque citizens, as set out in the Government Programme," he said. He added that over the next few weeks they will continue to work on administrative issues linked to budget compliance, and that each department will evaluate the pending issues to leave everything organised for the next government.

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Politicians attending the event