The leftist Democratic Coalition (DK) has declared solidarity with theatres and publishers, after details of the government’s culture bill had sparked protests and a demonstration on Monday.
Zsolt Gréczy, spokesman of the DK parliamentary group, told a press conference on Tuesday that the bill would boost the influence of the state as financing entity on theatres. “The cabinet … wants to create a situation where only the theatres it likes can survive”, he said.
DK will support every attempt to preserve cultural freedom and trusts that the Budapest municipality will protect the independence of the city’s theatres, he said.
The government wants to tighten regulation on publishing houses too, and gain detailed insight into their policies, Gréczy said.
Asked about the bill being softened in the wake of the protests, Gréczy said the new version, which parliament is scheduled to vote on Wednesday, still contains the passages regarding state funding and the status of theatre directors.
On Monday evening several thousand protesters rallied in downtown Budapest against the government’s new bill on culture.