Cultural money in Spain also applies to bullfights

Cultural money in Spain also applies to bullfights

Kfree to bullfight at state expense – young Spaniards are entitled to that. In order to alleviate the consequences of the corona pandemic, the left-wing government gave the eighteen-year-olds a “culture bonus” for the first time last year: half a million Spaniards can then spend 400 euros to go to the theatre, cinema or concert and to buy books – but not for the bullring. The alternative left coalition partner Podemos is said to have insisted on this.

However, the Supreme Court lifted this restriction Madrid now retrospectively. The court ruled that the government had not sufficiently justified the exclusion of bullfighting. “The cultural, historical and artistic dimensions” of bullfighting are recognized by law. The judges pointed out that ten years ago the conservative government declared bullfighting a national treasure that deserves special protection.

Accusation: “cultural censorship”

The “Fundación Toro de Lidia” had sued against the exclusion. The Foundation for the Promotion of Bullfighting accused the government of “cultural censorship” and argued that there is little more Spanish than the “Tauromaquia”. Most aficionados come from the age group between 16 and 24 years. In addition, the toreros felt discriminated against because the voucher, for which the government wanted to spend more than 200 million euros, is also intended to help the culture and events industry get back on its feet after the pandemic.


Spain’s love of the bull

Expedition to the Taurus Kingdom
Image: Tim Koelln

The government, which has to bear the costs of the court case, can now improve its justification for the new cultural voucher that will possibly be issued every year. The previous one also excludes other sporting events. Previously, it applied to all young Spaniards turning 18 in 2022 for a period of 365 days. “Der Bono cultural joven” divides the expenditure into 100 euros for “physical products” such as books, newspapers or sound carriers, 100 euros for digital products such as digital press, podcasts, online video games and 200 euros for activities such as theatre, opera, cinema, dance and museums.

However, the universally praised cultural initiative had to contend with major teething problems. On social media, many young Spaniards complained that it was very difficult to get the voucher in digital form or as a prepaid card from the Spanish Post Office. In the end, only a good 280,000, almost 58 percent, received the culture voucher. Italy and France had previously introduced a similar cultural starting credit. In the neighboring country, the young French allegedly bought primarily Japanese manga comics with the money at first.

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