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Council of Ministers

Government develops regulation on marketing of audiovisual rights of football clubs

Moncloa Palace, Madrid, Friday 12 January 2018

​The Council of Ministers approved a Royal Decree developing the Royal Decree-Law on urgent measures in relation to the marketing of the operating rights of audiovisual content for professional football clubs, approved on 30 April 2015.

The Government Spokesperson and Minister for Education, Culture and Sport, Íñigo Méndez de Vigo, clarified that "the measure does not affect auctions for the marketing of rights, but rather the revenue from such auctions".

In this regard, the new legislation establishes that each entity that participates in the Spanish League must comply with a series of economic obligations that are proportional to the revenue they obtain for the joint marketing of audiovisual rights for professional football. These entities must hand over 3.5% of their revenue to the Spanish League, which will be used to the benefit of the clubs that are relegated, and 1% to the Spanish Football Federation, as a supportive contribution to the development of amateur football. Furthermore, these entities will hand over 1% to the National Sports Council, with the aim of financing the social protection of high-performance sports stars, and 0.5% to the National Sports Council for subsidies for women's sport, amateur football and sports associations.

Íñigo Méndez de Vigo highlighted that, for the first time, more than 4,000 high-performance athletes will have their National Insurance contributions paid, whether under the general regime or the special regime for the self-employed, which was one of the requests from this group of athletes. Furthermore, he underlined that more than 2,000 amateur footballers will benefit from these contributions.

State Watchdog for Co-existence at School

Pool Moncloa/ Diego CrespoThe government modified the regulation and functioning of the State Watchdog for Co-existence at School, reducing the number of members from 71 to 47 to make it more flexible and operational, and it will take into account new methods that affect co-existence at school, such as cyber-harassment, explained Íñigo Méndez de Vigo.

The minister highlighted that the new watchdog "will boost the function for consultation to push through measures for co-existence, conflict prevention, equality and non-discrimination" and it will also incorporate the measures proposed in the Strategic Plan for Co-existence at School.

In relation to this plan, Íñigo Méndez de Vigo specified that the unified phone number for victims of school bullying (900 018 018), that has been in operation since 1 November 2016, has received 28,065 calls, of which 9,779 have been investigated as possible cases of school bullying. "We would reiterate that school bullying should not be seen as a cry in vain, but must be a cry that is heard and hence this phone number, which is operational 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and which is anonymous, is a useful instrument for those people who need to turn for help", he said.

Wine sector

The Council of Ministers approved the measures in Spain under the Programme to support the wine sector for the period 2019-2013, which will make available the financial measures approved by the European Union with an estimated budget of more than 1 billion euros.

The Government Spokesperson recalled that Spain has almost 1 million hectares of land given over to grape production, which is a preferential crop in all our autonomous regions. This measure seeks to support the sector in "promoting markets in third countries, the re-conversion and re-structuring of vineyards, investments, distillation of sub-products and green harvesting, he pointed out".

Youth Guarantee in Spain

Pool Moncloa/ JM CuadradoThe Council of Ministers analysed a report on the implementation of the National Youth Guarantee System in Spain.

Íñigo Méndez de Vigo pointed out that this programme, which seeks to place young people in the job market and improve their training, "is one of the key projects through which we seek to fight youth unemployment". He also specified that more than 1 million young people have signed up to this programme, of which 419,606 have found a job, at a rate of employability of 41%.

The Government Spokesperson stressed that Spain has closed the year having met its goals undertaken with the European Union, and that this will enable "all of the subsidies assigned for the coming years to be maintained".

High-speed rail travel in Basque Country

The government authorised the tender, through ADIF High-Speed, to be put out for the construction project of the section between Mondragón and Elorrio and Bergara (sector 3), including the platform for the high-speed line between Vitoria/Gasteiz and Bilbao and Donostia/San Sebastián and the French border.

"The government estimates that the prospect of seeing the high-speed line in the Basque Country in operation by the year 2023 is a goal that we can and must meet", claimed Íñigo Méndez de Vigo.

Application of Article 155 in Catalonia

Following the ordinary meeting, the Council of Ministers held another session, called pursuant to the agreement reached by the Plenary Session of the Upper House of Parliament on 27 October 2017, approving the measures requested by the government under Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution.

The Government Delegate in Catalonia, Enric Millo, explained the agreements adopted at a press briefing held in Barcelona, at which he highlighted that in the 10 meetings held by the government in application of Article 155, more than 100 agreements have been adopted, particularly focused on priority areas for the well-being of the people of Catalonia and job creation in their region.

2017, year for new jobs

Pool Moncloa/ JM CuadradoAt the press briefing following the first Council of Ministers of 2018, Íñigo Méndez de Vigo took stock of 2017, a year that he described as "intense and difficult". But, he added that, above all, this was "the year for jobs", with the creation of 611,146 new jobs, almost 1,700 a day, a trend that benefitted all sectors and regions. "This did not happen by chance, but due to budget austerity and the reform agenda implemented by the government", argued the Government Spokesperson.

According to the minister, another two figures published this week show that the economy is heading in the "right direction". On the one hand, the record achieved by the Spanish tourism sector and, on the other, the price moderation, that closed 2017 with a year-on-year rate of 1.1%.

The Government Spokesperson also underlined that last year the government sent 40 draft bills to Parliament, 666 questions to parliamentary groups and overcame a vote of no confidence. Among other examples of legislation approved in 2017, Íñigo Méndez de Vigo mentioned the Budget, the updated version of the special tax agreement with the Basque Country, the reform of the stevedore sector and the State Pact to Combat Gender-based Violence.

The government's commitment to dialogue and consensus, he declared, should be corresponded to by the parliamentary groups. "It is necessary to move forward in implementing reforms with institutional loyalty and a sense of responsibility".

Political agenda for 2018

Íñigo Méndez de Vigo stressed that in 2018, "Spain will make further progress", and will continue down the path opened up by our Constitution, which will celebrate its 40th anniversary and which represented "the start of us building a future together of a democratic Spain". The government, he specified, plans to approve 287 regulations - as set out in the Annual Regulatory Plan - and develop a political agenda based on three cornerstones: jobs, the Budget and Catalonia.

Pool Moncloa/ JM CuadradoAs regards the reduction in unemployment, Íñigo Méndez de Vigo highlighted its effect on the reduction in the percentage of people at risk of poverty and social exclusion. He also reviewed the main social measures adopted last year which will be felt in 2018, such as the rise in the minimum wage, the extension of the Prepara Plan, the new Law on the Self-Employed, the extension of the moratorium on evictions of the most vulnerable groups until 2020, the new regulation of the social discount and the largest public employment offer since 2008.

As regards the General State Budget, the Government Spokesperson stated that the government "is resolved" to approve this budget because it will offer stability, strengthen the institutional credibility of Spain and benefit our citizens in their daily lives.

As regards Catalonia, Íñigo Méndez de Vigo pointed out that Article 155 of the Constitution "has served to halt and reverse the deterioration" in this region, and "institutionally channel affairs within the constitutional framework and the Statute of Autonomy". In his opinion, the secessionists have not achieved any of their goals and it has been shown that politics cannot be exercised outside of the law.

The minister also pointed out that until the end of this term of office - in mid-2020 - the government "will continue to forge the different State pacts that the President of the Government committed to in his investiture debate", in relation to education, pensions, regional financing, employment, energy, democratic quality and the fight against corruption.

Current affairs

When asked about the hypothetical telematic investiture of Carles Puigdemont as President of the Regional Government of Catalonia, the Government Spokesperson stressed that the Regulation of the regional parliament is very clear in establishing that "the speaker can speak from the platform or from his seat", in other words, be present. He added that a whole series of "legal reasons" exists to ensure that the presence of the candidate is in fact "real".

Pool Moncloa/ Diego CrespoÍñigo Méndez de Vigo recalled that the President of the Regional Government of Catalonia represents the people of Catalonia and the State in that autonomous region, which is why "it is impossible to exercise these functions if you are not present there". This attempt, he commented, is "impractical" and "goes against legal doctrine and, above all, it runs counter to common sense". The government will "strongly oppose" any "ploy" in this regard, concluded the Government Spokesperson.

As regards the claims from certain regional leaders to adopt measures which need to be financed by the 2018 Budget while, at the same time, certain political formations that they belong to are against its approval in the Lower House of Parliament, Íñigo Méndez de Vigo said that "you cannot ask for some measures while voting for others in the Budget". In his opinion, it is good to have public accounts because they provide for a "great deal of social spending".

The Government Spokesperson offered the government's apologies to those affected by the incidents on the AP-6 caused by heavy snowfall. "We apologise and are going to get to the bottom of what exactly caused this" and who is responsible. He also stressed that measures will be taken to ensure that these kinds of situations are avoided in the future and announced that the Minster for Home Affairs, Juan Ignacio Zoilo, will appear in the Upper House of Parliament on Thursday to speak about the ongoing investigation into the matter.

Non official translation