http://www.culturalpolicies.net/_grafics/logoprintbw.gif
Report creation date: 14.10.2008 - 10:35
Countr(y/ies): Greece
Chapter(s): 1,2,21,22,23,24,241,242,243,244,245,246,3,31,32,33,4,41,42,421,422,423,424,425,426,427,428,429,4210,43,5,51,511,512,513,514,515,516,517,518,519,52,53,531,532,533,534,535,536,537,538,539,5310,6,61,62,63,64,7,71,72,73,8,81,811,812,813,82,821,822,83,831,832,84,841,842,9,91,92

Greece/ 1. Historical perspective: cultural policies and instruments

Central elements of contemporary Greek cultural policy and practice can be better understood in the light of its heritage, as well as its recent history. Greece emerged as a nation state in the early 19th century, endowed with a formidable Classical heritage, as well as with strong community bonds based on the Christian Orthodox tradition.View on Athens

After a War of Independence against the Ottoman Empire, the country was formally established in 1827. Under the predominant influence of the Enlightenment, the Greek state adopted educational and cultural heritage preservation policies which resulted in a national curriculum and stringent legislation on the protection of the archaeological heritage, which persisted through most of the 19th and 20th century. Institutions such as the Greek Archaeological Service, a National Archaeological Museum, a National Library, the University of Athens and a National Theatre were created gradually during the course of a century. Developments in literature and the arts in Greece mirrored contemporary movements in Western Europe, with which Greek intellectuals and artists had developed strong links.

The Second World War, and the bloody Civil War that followed it, left Greece - its polity, economy and society - in shatters. Deep divisions between the victorious right and the defeated left, reinforced by political clientelism and prolonged measures of political censure, had a marked effect on cultural life. Anti-establishment writers and artists were excluded from state programmes of support, and some were forced to live in exile in more hospitable western European countries, notably France. Associations of artists and writers, cultural and media organisations remained, as a rule, sectarian and divided.

Gradually improved standards of living allowed, during the 1950s and 1960s, the flourishing of strong popular music recording and cinema industries. The Greek Radio Foundation (EIR) expanded its network of regional radio stations, and its Third Programme became a focus for cultivated music (classical, jazz, traditional-folk) and programmes on literature and the arts. The Athens Festival, hosted every summer in the restored Theatre of Herodes Atticus, became a venue for international music, ballet and drama performances accessible to Greek audiences, while the Thessaloniki Film Festival became a focus for both Greek cinema and international productions. Writers such as Nobel laureates Georges Seferis and Odysseas Elytis, composers such as Manos Hatzidakis and Mikis Theodorakis, and theatre companies such as Theatro Technis transcended political boundaries and provided much-needed bearings to a society in transformation. Journals such as Epitheorissi Technis, Nea Hestia, Epoches, Theatro, and Zygos, became the focus for expression and debate in literature and the arts.

In the 1960s, a significant number of archaeological museums were built in major cities or near important archaeological sites, housing the expanding numbers of artefacts found in systematic and rescue excavations. The Greek Archaeological Service operated through a decentralised structure of regional ephorates of antiquities - as well as the Archaeological Society of Athens and foreign archaeological schools and institutes active in Greece. In addition, Athens was endowed with a National Gallery, to house a representative collection of 19th and 20th century Greek painting and sculpture.

Initially, responsibility for culture and cultural policy was divided between different government ministries. A separate Ministry of Culture and Sciences was created in 1971, when Greece was ruled by a military junta. After the restoration of democratic rule and normal cultural life in 1974, the Ministry gained authority. New Ministers were appointed who, apart from career politicians, included some notable artists and intellectuals, such as actress Melina Mercouri whose long-standing position as Minister (1981-89, and again 1993-95) informed major elements of the current cultural policy.

Challenges facing the Ministry to date included:

Despite efforts by successive Ministers, the budget of the Ministry of Culture still represents a small fraction of the state budget. Some public investments relevant to the arts or heritage are provided by other Ministries (Public Administration, Public Works, Press and Media). Nevertheless, culture has increasingly depended for funding on the EU Community Support Framework, cultural attraction visitor and sales revenues, and, since the mid-1990s, on the Lottery Fund, administered by the Ministry of Culture. Major programmes, such as the Thessaloniki (1987) and Patras (2006) European Capital of the Year events, the Cultural Olympiad events linked with the Athens 2004 Summer Olympics, and investments in cultural infrastructure such as the Athens and Thessaloniki Concert Halls, could not have taken place without these sources.

The increased need for archaeological heritage protection and valorisation was recognised by the inception of major restoration initiatives such as the Restoration of the Acropolis Monuments programme, and the launching of an international campaign for the return of the Parthenon Marbles in conjunction with the creation of a new Acropolis Museum, now planned to open in autumn 2007. A master plan for the reunification of the archaeological sites of Athens was adopted in the early 1990s and pursued to date, restoring monuments, establishing visitor facilities, creating pedestrian ways and regulating traffic so that visitors can have seamless access to Athenian archaeological attractions.

A shift towards decentralisation in the early 1980s resulted in the creation of regional theatre organisations and other local arts infrastructures. In the mid-1990s, the National Cultural Network of Cities was created, including regional centres for performing or visual arts. The selection of Thessaloniki as European Cultural Capital of the Year in 1997 provided the grounds for a major expansion of the city's cultural infrastructure. A nation-wide programme, "Domain of Culture", was based on ten geographically distributed thematic networks, ranging from cinema, dance and photography to arts management and popular culture, and local and regional government bodies undertook an increasing range of activities, governed by rolling multi-year programme agreements with the Ministry of Culture. Other cultural administration activities were transferred from the Ministry of Culture to arms-length organisations such as the Greek Cinema Centre, National Book Centre, and, in 2007, the National Centre for Theatre and Dance. A new organisation plan for the Ministry of Culture was put in place in 2003, and current policies focus on rebalancing the role of central authority vis--vis the local and regional level, encouraging private sponsorship to the arts, expanding measures for the economic exploitation of cultural goods, and strengthening international cooperation for the return of illegally exported antiquities.

Greece/ 2. Competence, decision-making and administration

2.1 Organisational structure (organigram)

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Greece/ 2. Competence, decision-making and administration

2.2 Overall description of the system

Overall responsibility for policy in the fields of cultural heritage and the arts lies with the Ministry of Culture. Sport is also under the Ministry's jurisdiction, supervised by a separate Undersecretary for Sport.

On constitutional grounds, the Greek Parliament has a key role in cultural affairs, notably, passing legislation on issues pertaining to cultural heritage and the arts, which are introduced by the Minister of Culture. In addition, its Standing Committee for Culture and Education has an important role in supervising the implementation of policies and programmes of the Ministry of Culture and its agencies; issues relevant to foreign cultural policy, on the other hand, are addressed via the Standing Committee on Greeks Abroad or the External Affairs Standing Committee of Parliament.

Several ministries and government departments play a key role in the development and implementation of policies and programmes for culture, the arts and media including:

The Ministry of Culture consists of four General Directorates: Antiquities and Cultural Heritage; Restoration, Museums and Technical Works; Contemporary Culture; and, Administrative Support (which includes the Directorates of European Union and of International Relations). Together they have collective responsibility for the:

The Ministry of Culture is assisted in the preparation, planning, funding, control and / or implementation of policy by consultative bodies, such as the National Commission of Museums, and by arms-length agencies, such as the National Book Centre, the Greek Cinema Centre, the Fund of Credits Management for Archaeological Work, the Hellenic Culture Organisation SA, the Hellenic Intellectual Property Organisation, and the newly founded Centre for Theatre and Dance. The membership of these consultative bodies and the governing bodies of arms-length organisations are appointed by the Minister of Culture, with only some positions filled by ex officio representatives from the sector (different to the British or Nordic models of arms-length). Some of these bodies enjoy a considerable degree of autonomy from political power, mainly on account of the status of their chairperson and board members.

The Ministry has set up special departments responsible for cultural heritage protection: the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities, the Ephorate of Private Collections, the Service for the Restoration of the Acropolis Monuments. In addition, a number of archaeological museums were given special regional service status (National Archaeological; Epigraphical; Numismatic; Byzantine; Archaeological Museum of Heraklion; Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki; Museum of Byzantine Culture of Thessaloniki). In addition, several regional services of the Ministry of Culture are responsible for the on-site implementation of policies on the protection, preservation and valorisation of archaeological heritage, namely, 25 Ephorates of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities, 14 Ephorates of Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Antiquities, and 8 Ephorates of Contemporary and Modern Monuments.

Several major public museums and galleries operate at arms-length from the Ministry despite being almost fully dependent on central government funding. These include: the National Gallery-Alexandros Soutzos Museum; and the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Athens; and the State Museum of Contemporary Art in Thessaloniki. Some not-for-profit foundations or associations, such as the Benaki Museum, the Museum of Cycladic Art, the Macedonian Centre of Contemporary Art in Thessaloniki, and the Foundation of the Hellenic World, play an important complementary role.

The Ministry of Culture provides support for regional cultural development and the arts via its arms-length sector bodies. Many regional theatre organisations, municipal cinemas, cultural centres and other similar organisations are co-funded by the Ministry of Culture, and operate under the long-term programme agreements between the municipalities and the Ministry. As a rule, such organisations operate as agencies of local government, under its effective administrative control. However, a large number of independent folk art, ethnographic, applied arts or local history museums are financially supported by the Ministry of Culture.

Current policies are based on an attempt to re-adjust the balance between the national and local-regional level, mostly on the basis of nationwide sectoral initiatives in the arts and cultural heritage. The focus of recent policy intervention as regards the governance of culture is in mobilising established figures from the field of the arts to lead cultural institutions and initiatives, and in increasing the reliance of the Ministry of Culture on quasi-foundation status, arms-length organisations or consultative bodies for the elaboration and implementation of sectoral policies.

Greece/ 2. Competence, decision-making and administration

2.3 Inter-ministerial or intergovernmental co-operation

A complex web of relationships between different Ministries shape the cultural policy landscape in Greece. Apart from the Ministry of Culture, responsibilities for specific areas of latu sensu cultural policy belong, among others, to the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs, the Ministry of Press and Mass Media, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Significant regional cultural development funds, from national or European Union sources, are administered by the Ministry of the Economy, by the Ministry of the Interior, Public Administration and Decentralisation, or by regional and local government.

The Ministry of Culture and its agencies have set up or participate in a number of inter-ministerial committees or joint programmes:

In parallel with the long-standing National Cultural Network of Cities, consisting of 23 arms-length cultural organisations dispersed in all regions of Greece; the actual co-ordination of the implementation of cultural development policies with local government and independent cultural organisations is now organised centrally by the services of the Ministry of Culture, aided by sectoral bodies such as the National Council of Museums, the National Centre for Theatre and Dance, the National Centre for the Book and the Greek Film Centre.

Greece/ 2.4 International cultural co-operation

2.4.1 Overview of main structures and trends

The Greek approach to international cultural co-operation is informed by its history and heritage, its geopolitical position and regional relationships, as well as traditional policy commitments and major events affecting its recent and current priorities. These key elements need to be taken into account:

The complexity of issues and concerns determine to a great extent the nature of the actors and instruments involved. International cultural relations, understood in the sense of relations in the arts and heritage, involve the Ministry of Culture. On the other hand, bilateral issues with Turkey, and with northern neighbours, are often within the purview of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Elements of cultural diplomacy involving inter-faith and religious instruments come under the authority of the Ministry of Education and Religious affairs. Special services, such as the General Secretariat of Greeks abroad, and the Special Service for Development and Cooperation, belong to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the Institute of Intra-cultural Education is under the auspices of the Ministry of Education; the Hellenic Cultural Foundation is under the Ministry of Culture. Policies regarding the integration of economic immigrants, as well as of the Muslim minority and the Roma, are coordinated by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Public Administration and Self-Government, and involves the cooperation of local and regional government.

To sum up, planning and allocation of resources to international cultural co-operation and exchange programmes are increasingly linked firstly, to foreign policy priorities and goals to support democracy and institution building in the region of SE Europe, and, secondly, to strengthen cultural relations and encourage understanding of contemporary Greece among major international partners.

Greece/ 2.4 International cultural co-operation

2.4.2 Public actors and cultural diplomacy

Since 2000, responsibility for foreign cultural relations has been transferred from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the Ministry of Culture. This concerns all major issues in bilateral cultural relations, such as the campaign for the restitution of the Parthenon Marbles.

Nevertheless, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as the Ministry of Education, are involved together with the Ministry of Culture in running the large number of bilateral cultural agreements and programmes, providing a framework for some actions in international cultural relations (mainly scholarships, exchange of personnel in the arts). Recently, however, there have been several developments limiting the effectiveness of such agreements and have led to the emergence of new forms of cultural co-operation such as: changes in the cultural sector in Eastern and SE Europe due to the fall of communism, the gradual devolution of responsibilities from the state to arms-length organisations in many countries and, the emergence of diverse co-operation and funding opportunities - notably from the European Union.

The Hellenic Cultural Foundation, working through a network of branches or representatives in Berlin, London, Odessa, Moscow, Alexandria, Bucharest, Sofia and Tirana (and, for the period 2007-2009, also Beijing) operates under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture. It is active in organising events aimed at promoting Greek language, literature, art and culture abroad; in producing publications that serve this same goal; and, in monitoring, evaluating and coordinating the study of Modern Greek abroad.

Greece/ 2.4 International cultural co-operation

2.4.3 European / international actors and programmes

Greece is a member of UNESCO, the Council of Europe and the European Union, and a signatory of most international agreements and declarations in the field of culture. It is also a member of the Francophonie organisation, by virtue of the strong cultural links established between Greece and France since the late 19th century.

Greece actively participates in cultural co-operation programmes with a strong European, South-East European or Mediterranean dimension. During the last decades, it has played an increasingly active role in policy-oriented international co-operation, being a founding member of the inter-governmental International Network on Cultural Policy (INCP).

Among multilateral actions driven by the Ministry of Culture, there is an emphasis in regional co-operation programmes in the European, Mediterranean, Adriatic, SE European or Black Sea areas, co-sponsored or financially supported by the European Union or the Council of Europe (under multilateral co-operation schemes).

The Ministry of Culture is the official authority responsible for the implementation and monitoring of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.

Greece/ 2.4 International cultural co-operation

2.4.4 Direct professional co-operation

Organisations operating under the arms-length principle are active in the field of international cultural co-operation, in fields as diverse as the organisation of cultural events and festivals, the translation of literary works, the diffusion of the Greek language, and cultural heritage preservation, e.g. European Cultural Centre of Delphi, the Hellenic Cultural Foundation, the National Centre for the Book, and the European Centre of Byzantine Monuments. Independent not-for-profit foundations such as the Alexandros A. Onassis Foundation, and some large private companies, have also been active in financially supporting international cultural exchange events, such as blockbuster travelling exhibitions, concerts and festivals;

Greece/ 2.4 International cultural co-operation

2.4.5 Cross-border intercultural dialogue and co-operation

For more information, see our Intercultural Dialogue section.

Greece/ 2.4 International cultural co-operation

2.4.6 Other relevant issues

Since the 1980s, increasing importance has been placed on the Greek diaspora and the broader understanding of its existence within increasingly globalised and multicultural societies. This has resulted in the adoption of more flexible policies aimed at encouraging not just the interest of second and third generation diaspora members in contemporary - rather than traditional - Greece, its language and living culture, but also to recognise their achievements in their chosen country of residence and their role as agents of mutual understanding and cultural co-operation with Greece. This becomes especially significant considering the large number of Greeks who chose to pursue a career in the arts or academia in another country. The international dimension of domestic policies and cultural action, and the need to link domestic cultural policy with foreign cultural policy and cultural diplomacy has now been fully recognised. It has been acknowledged that Greek literary and cultural heritage, its protection and valorisation, cannot be separated from the cultural heritage of the broader European, SE European and Mediterranean region nor from promoting co-operation with cultural organisations abroad.

In addition, the Greek Ministry of Culture, in co-operation with other government departments, has provided support for a large number of academic programmes in modern Greek ("Neo-Hellenic") studies abroad, as well as for Greek cultural organisations, events and festivals around the globe. A complementary policy has been established to support linguistic and cultural awareness among the large Greek diaspora - estimated to be 8.5 million people altogether - living in the United States, Australia, Canada, Germany, and elsewhere.

Greece/ 3. General objectives and principles of cultural policy

3.1 Main elements of the current cultural policy model

Greece follows a mixed cultural policy model. The government maintains a privileged interventionist role in establishing and enforcing policy priorities for culture, especially in the field of cultural heritage, but also now increasingly in creativity, access and financial exploitation of the arts; however, the task of developing and implementing specific programmes has increasingly become the responsibility of sectoral or local organisations. In the latter case linked with local government, operating under the arms'-length principle, and aligned with central government policy priorities through the appointment of Boards of Trustees and through the allocation of state subsidies (see also http://www.culturalpolicies.net/web/icons/intern.gifchapter 2.2).

Greece/ 3. General objectives and principles of cultural policy

3.2 National definition of culture

There is no official definition of culture in government policy documents. The Greek Constitution makes, however, indirect reference to culture, in that it recognises the freedom of artistic expression, and determines that the state has the obligation to support the development and promotion of artistic creativity, to protect the cultural (manmade) environment, including monuments and the regions and vestiges of heritage. Responsibilities of the Ministry of Culture, as stated in its organisational statutes, include the protection and valorisation of cultural heritage (including archaeology and folk culture), of creators in the arts and letters (including the fine and visual arts, theatre, dance, cinema, music, and literature) and their intellectual property rights, of artistic education, of local cultures and cultural diversity, of international cultural exchange and co-operation, and of access to cultural production for all: this gives light, by enumeration, to a functional definition of culture in the Greek context.

In policy documents and current debates, the coined word politismos is used to the exclusion of other terms in order to subsume the meaning of foreign terms such as culture (and its French and German cognates, with their differing meanings), civilisation, or arts and letters (the "high" culture). Cultural heritage holds a central place in this definition. A broader definition of culture, used increasingly in policy documents during the last decade, addresses cultural heritage and all manifestations of literary and artistic creativity from prehistory to contemporary times, as well as values and behavioural patterns congruent with the promotion of creativity and free access to artistic and literary production. Even so, culture is not understood as a value-neutral concept, and its pursuit stands in opposition with "easy" entertainment, leisure, advertising, the media, and what is defined in other countries as the "cultural industries".

Greece/ 3. General objectives and principles of cultural policy

3.3 Cultural policy objectives

The principle of equal access and participation in cultural life is asserted in the Greek constitution, and manifested in the investments made in infrastructures for the arts, both in the regions and metropolitan centres. Educational programmes in schools, and free access to museums and archaeological sites, are meant to develop a positive attitude of young people towards culture and the arts. Extensive works in archaeological sites, museums and cultural venues are under way to make them accessible to people with physical handicaps.

The principle of promoting identity is predominant in Greek cultural policy, as shown by the emphasis on the diachronic unity of Greek cultural heritage and on the prevalent views expressed both in policy documents and in public debate about the uniqueness and distinctiveness of Greek culture.

The principle of promoting diversity is expressed in the constitutional right of freedom of artistic and literary expression, as well as in a variety of positive discrimination programmes encouraging the cultural expression and participation in cultural life of groups such as the Roma people, foreign economic immigrants in Athens, and the Muslim minority of Thrace; the Ministry of Culture monument restoration programme involves several mosques and synagogues. While Greek society is predominantly homogeneous as regards popular traditions, in line with other fully urbanised societies, folk cultures representing small ethnic groups are well represented in folk art museums, traditional music and dance groups. The recently passed Law 3028/2002 provides full protection and valorisation of the cultural heritage of all traditions - Greek and non-Greek - found throughout the territory of Greece.

The principle of support for creativity is expressed in the Greek constitution. Within the limited overall budgets available for culture, the Greek state does provide support for creators through public commissions and purchasing of works, subsidies for theatre and for the production of films, literary and other prizes, and social benefits such as pensions for writers. In addition, both the creation of infrastructure for the arts and cultural programming is largely supported by public funds and administered by the central or local governments.

Greece/ 4. Current issues in cultural policy development and debate

4.1 Main cultural policy issues and priorities

Cultural policy priorities, as derived from policy documents and budget allocation priorities during the last five years, are:

Greece/ 4.2 Recent policy issues and debates

4.2.1 Cultural minorities, groups and communities

Greece recognises a Muslim minority in Thrace, representing (according to the 2001 census) 1.1% of the population and made up of people identifying themselves as Turks, Roma or Pomaks. The Roma represent ca. 2.5% of the population dispersed throughout the different regions of Greece.

Greece has developed as a relatively homogeneous society as witnessed through the development of nation-state institutions, socio-economic development and urbanisation. A major issue to be addressed today is the large numbers of migrant workers, refugees and asylum seekers (7.3% of the registered population) who have moved to all parts of Greece in increasing numbers from 1990 onwards, more than half of them from neighbouring Albania, and the inadequacy of mechanisms of cultural integration. The effects, both positive and worrying, of the multicultural situation found in inner-city and some rural areas, is yet to be fully studied and understood.

The Greek state embraces an approach of socio-economic and cultural integration, balanced by respect and recognition of cultural diversity. To take the example of the Roma people, an inter-ministerial commission was given official status in 1997 to address the issue of their social integration in Greek society. Within the scope of this policy, the Ministry of Culture developed cultural and educational initiatives, co-funded by the 3rd Support Framework Programme of the European Commission and implemented in co-operation with local government. The programme, already in operation in the greater Athens area, aims to develop cultural infrastructure for Roma settlements, to promote literacy and skills in the arts (such as music and photography) among Roma people, and to make their creativity and cultural traditions known to society at large; photography exhibitions and music events by Greek Roma, arising from this programme, took place in various venues, including the 2004 programme of the Hellenic Foundation of Culture in Berlin. An "Integrated Action Plan for the Social Integration of Greek Roma" was launched in 2002, including educational programmes for children and adults.

The Ministry of Culture has also developed and implemented multicultural educational programmes, directed to children of non-Greek immigrant families in the centre of Athens and elsewhere. Changes in immigration legislation in 2005 removed knowledge of Greek as a pre-requisite for residence permit issuance, and established Greek language programmes for immigrants of working age under the auspices of local government. Significant initiatives have been launched with regard to the preservation and valorisation of monuments linked with non-Greek cultural heritage, including 42 major Ottoman monuments and several synagogues in all parts of Greece. Radio programmes in the main languages spoken by migrant workers' communities are regularly broadcast by the public broadcasting channel ERT; in addition, Athens International Radio, an initiative of the Athens City Council, broadcasts general audience daily programmes in several languages including Albanian, Russian, and Arabic.

There is a declared policy against racial discrimination, racist and xenophobic behaviour and stereotyping of the media. Despite a strong tradition of tolerance and hospitality, it is not clear, however, how Greece can avoid problems of xenophobia and cultural exclusion already faced by other European countries with large immigrant populations. Under these circumstances, institutions such as the Ombudsman, with its annual report on discrimination and monitoring programmes such as its "Complex action on Roma housing" play a paramount role in promoting equitable treatment of groups such as the Roma, the Muslim minority of Thrace and non-Greek economic immigrants.

On the other hand, educational and cultural policies are seen as key for the promotion of diversity, and an important role in discouraging cultural and ethnic stereotyping is played by the National Radio and Television Council, the Code of Journalistic Ethics and the draft Code of Ethics for Information and Other Journalistic and Political Programmes.

Greece/ 4.2 Recent policy issues and debates

4.2.2 Language issues and policies

Greek is the official language of Greece, and the native language spoken by the vast majority of Greek citizens. Modern Greek is the natural evolution of earlier forms of the Greek language, from the late Bronze Age through to Classical, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine and post-Byzantine times, and retains to a significant extent the vocabulary base and syntax of earlier forms. The poetics and rhetoric of Modern Greek can be best appreciated with knowledge of earlier literary and linguistic traditions. Through urbanisation and the homogenising effect of national education and the audiovisual media, local variants of the Greek language have become less prevalent, and amount to little more than differences in accent and usage.

During the 1970s, language reform established the commonly spoken demotike as the official language for administration and education, replacing katharevousa, a "cleansed", somewhat archaic form that was the official language for most of the preceding one and a half centuries of the Modern Greek state. The usage of Modern Greek was further simplified by the abolition of breathing signs and the simplification of stress marks. A recent debate concerns the use of an increasing number of foreign words, especially among young people, a fact that is deplored by some as posing a danger to the purity of the Greek language. This debate, clearly, is as much socio-political in nature as it is about language, and it is linked to a broader cultural debate about the distinctness of the Greek culture, and its position between distinct Eastern - rooted in Byzantium and Orthodox Christianity - and Western European cultural traditions.

The vast majority of literary works, dramatic and cinema productions, benefiting from direct or indirect state aid, are produced in Greek. The government has a policy for the promotion of the Greek language that is apparent in integrative programmes for Greek language literacy among children of migrant workers, and of people of Greek origin who were accepted by Greece from Eastern Europe (mainly Russia, Ukraine and Georgia) after the dissolution of the Soviet bloc. Greek language teaching is also provided to children of Greek Diaspora communities, according to the educational system and traditions of their adopted country: in the context of regular schools, in separate Greek language schools recognised by the local educational authorities, or in Saturday classes typically organised by the local Greek Orthodox Church. In addition, the Ministries of Culture, of Education and of Foreign Affairs provide grants to a significant number of departments or academic positions of modern Greek in universities throughout the world, and the Hellenic Culture Foundation, an arms-length organisation of the Ministry of Culture, is active in monitoring and coordinating the teaching of Modern Greek abroad..

Greece/ 4.3 Recent policy issues and debates

4.2.3 Intercultural dialogue: actors, strategies, programmes

Greece subscribes to international initiatives on intercultural dialogue by UNESCO, the Council of Europe and the European Union. It also supports actively the Euro-Mediterranean intercultural dialogue process, in which it is represented by the Hellenic Cultural Foundation, through a grant of 100 000 euros to the Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for the Dialogue between Cultures. The need to strengthen dialogue between cultures, and religious denominations, is often evoked  in public political enunciations in relevant public fora such as conferences and meetings. A wide-ranging programme of activities, including is a major international conference to be organised by the Hellenic Foundation for Culture, is planned in the context of the celebration of 2008 as European Year of Intercultural Dialogue.

Local government is active in establishing low-level international links, and thus promoting grassroots intercultural dialogue, through town twinning of more than 400 Greek municipalities with foreign counterparts. On the other has, while Greece remains involved in relevant global fora, there is notable absence of concrete intercultural dialogue action at the national level.

Intercultural dialogue has been the topic of recent meetings, such as those organised by Panteion University of Athens. Practical action, for instance involving subaltern cultures and ethnic traditions, has been low key and not consolidated in a clear and visible force. The Orthodox Church of Greece has been active in a process of inter-church dialogue, mainly with Islam; also, in inter-faith dialogue with other Christian denominations.

For more information, see:
Database of Good Practice on Intercultural Dialogue and our Intercultural Dialogue section.

For more information on the government's National Strategy for the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue please see: http://ec.europa.eu/culture/eac/dialogue/strategies_en.html

Greece/ 4.3 Recent policy issues and debates

4.2.4 Social cohesion and cultural policies

Social cohesion is an established policy goal in Greece. Since 2005, groups such as the Roma and non-Greek economic immigrants have been recognised as deserving special protection ("socially sensitive groups"). Policy objectives include ensuring minimum levels of welfare, access to education and equality of opportunity for all.

A key challenge is the social integration of Roma people, as well as the increasing numbers of economic immigrants. An integrated inter-ministerial programme of social cohesion measures amongst the Roma community, including an educational initiative which, reportedly, more than doubled the percentage of Roma children completing obligatory (9-year) education, was launched in 2002; a plan to issue several thousand house ownerships loans to Roma people is currently under way. Economic immigrants are encouraged to attend Greek language courses, administered under the auspices of local government, and designed to curb positively social exclusion.

Several initiatives, involving local government and third sector actors, including NGOs and individual volunteers, some in the context of the EQUAL initiative partially funded by the EU, focus on encouraging social inclusion of immigrants, fighting against human trafficking, and other issues.

Greece/ 4.2 Recent policy issues and debates

4.2.5 Media pluralism and content diversity

Since the late 1980s, the Greek audiovisual media sector is organised in two tiers: the public radio and television broadcasting, represented by ERT (the Greek Radio and Television corporation), and a large number of private radio and television channels. There is legislation putting restrictions on the ownership of media by companies or individuals having other large-scale financial interests, which, however, is currently under review as it does not conform to EU free market provisions. There are also two competing digital satellite TV and radio services, bundling together a large number of international and Greek channels; cable does not exist in Greece.

Private TV channels cannot be said to have a cultural agenda (although the positive portrayal of economic immigrants and Roma people in recently screened sitcoms may be noteworthy), and rare experiments in niche arts programming have not met with commercial success. On the other hand, the public broadcasting corporation ERT has an educational and cultural agenda described in its official mission: "to develop public radio and television through the production of high quality programmes which promote impartial and full information, diversity, entertainment, preservation of historical memory, promotion of Greek and world culture, and eradication of xenophobia and racism".

Among the three public TV channels, entertainment-oriented NET and regional-focus, Thessaloniki-based ET3, regularly commission and broadcast programmes of cultural interest, including, cultural and historical documentaries, adaptations of literary and theatrical works for TV, and cultural magazinos. They also broadcast Greek and international quality films, musical events and other programmes of cultural interest. The programmes of the satellite channel ERT-SAT, transmitted in the Greek language and intended for the Greek Diaspora, include a strong component of predominantly Greek cultural programming; among three digital terrestrial channels launched by the state broadcaster, PRISMA is notable in providing arts and general interest programmes for people with hearing disabilities, i.e., with captioning and / or sign language simultaneous translation.

Of the two dozen nation-wide and regional radio stations in the public broadcasting system, Radio Cosmos specialises in multicultural, folk and ethnic music from all over the world. The 3rd programme focuses on Classical music, but also hosts jazz and traditional music, literature, and arts programmes. Most radio stations follow, in practice, a zone system allocating several hours of broadcasting per day to Greek music. In addition, public radio has regular programmes for migrant worker communities, transmitted in languages other than Greek, and a short wave programme transmitted globally.

In the field of cinema, the Greek Film Centre, a corporation supervised by the Ministry of Culture, has re-focussed itself firmly as a development agency for Greek film. It now co-finances on average 15 feature films, 15 shorts and 5 documentaries yearly (films in the Greek language and / or made by people of Greek nationality or origin), supports a regional network of movie theatres screening Greek and European Union films, encourages synergies between private and public sector, and otherwise supports the development of Greek cinema.

To put the role of public media organisations in context, it should be noted that public television channels are watched by only ca. 10% of all viewers, while the preferences of the majority of viewers lie with international brand reality shows, Greek and imported sitcoms, and standard entertainment industry films shown by the private channels. Also, English-language pop music is the predominant genre heard on radio and television (although Greeks were found by a 2002 Eurobarometer special survey on culture to listen extensively to local music as well). While public media organisations do see themselves in a cultural or educational role, it is apparent that television, radio and cinema are perceived by the public mostly as entertainment.

There is no evidence on training for journalists intended to educate them in new multicultural realities. However, an increasing number of university graduates, who have received extensive social science education, is employed by the media.

Greece/ 4.2 Recent policy issues and debates

4.2.6 Culture industries: policies and programmes

The state continues to be the primary sponsor of culture. Privatisation of cultural infrastructure and organisations is not part of the current policy priorities. Private sponsorship of the arts decreased after an early 1990s tax exemption was withdrawn (in 1997); new provisions (2007) re-introduce extensive tax exemptions for arts sponsorship, to be approved if bona fidae by a bureau under the authority of the Ministry of Culture. New measures being considered include: schemes involving a few banks and multinationals supporting blockbuster events produced by large-scale national institutions in the arts; other types of incentives.

Constrained by limited funding, the Ministry of Culture has focussed support for the culture industries through sector organisations and the rationalisation of funding initiatives. Thus, the National Book Centre is the main vehicle of support for Greek books, and has recently engaged in a broad-ranging programme of subsidised translations and other activities to promote Greek literature. The Greek Film Centre now supports the annual production of a significant number of Greek films, within an increased budget of 7 million euro. Independent (private) theatre companies are supported by a subsidy scheme (ca 1.5 million euro worth), which was recently rationalised to follow a more consistent set of criteria on artistic contributions and past performance; subsidies are given to selected dance performances, operating under the same principle.

Earlier cultural policy, based on the integration and synergy between cultural heritage and cultural action, and the state and local government, is gradually replaced by a shift towards accountability and financial exploitation of cultural goods using private sector criteria, encouraged through the establishment of "showcase" events for the promotion of Greek performing arts abroad, and supporting measures...

Greece/ 4.2 Recent policy issues and debates

4.2.7 Employment policies for the cultural sector

There is a lack of systematic quantitative data and primary research on cultural employment in Greece; the following note is, therefore, by necessity cursory and impressionistic.

The public sector remains the chief employer of cultural workers in Greece, primarily through the central and decentralised services of the Ministry of Culture. It is currently estimated that the Ministry employs about 7 000 permanent members of staff (of which 4 500 are security staff for archaeological sites and museums), and 3 500 workers under indefinite work contracts (these numbers exclude staff of organisations under the auspices of the Ministry). Culture and arts organisations attached to the local government employ an unknown additional number of people.

There is lack of recent official information on employment in the arts. Eurostat lists 92 400 people, ca. 2.5% of the working population, in cultural employment in Greece (2005), 35% of which were freelancers. An earlier national survey (1999) had listed 7 986 people working as writers or journalists, 17 436 as visual artists; and 13 074 as performing artists.

Support for cultural employment has been one of the goals of the Operational Programme "Culture 2000", running from 2000-2006 and co-funded by Greece and the European Union, whereby about 3 000 new cultural management jobs were expected to be created to service the upgraded and new infrastructure funded by the programme, in the context of regional development. Of these, two thirds were to be in the domain of cultural heritage, while one third in the domain of contemporary culture and in performing arts and congress facilities; no measurements exist at to the success of these plans. It has to be understood, however, that job creation in the cultural sector is necessarily in line with tight fiscal policies, aiming to reduce, rather than increase, employment by the state and local government.

While the Ministry of Culture is traditionally staffed by archaeology graduates (who, in Greece, receive a purely humanistic - rather than social science - education), there has been a shift in the skills required for effective cultural heritage and cultural development management; which has been acknowledged in recent policy initiatives. The Ministry has defined several skills to be taught through professional training courses such as: familiarity with the legal and regulatory framework for the protection of cultural heritage, project management and computer literacy skills related to cultural heritage documentation and information management. In practice, museum studies are recognised as important. Communications studies, cultural resources management, arts administration, and arts policy degrees are increasingly acknowledged. In addition, some departments and organisations, especially in the not-for-profit sector, employ museum education and museum documentation specialists. It is assumed that several hundred jobs of documentation and information officers were created in ca. 200 memory institutions (museums, archives, libraries) in the context of large-scale cultural digitisation projects, co-funded by Greece and the European Commission, from 2004 onwards. Many organisations in the performing and visual arts depend on external consultants and private companies as collaborators for ongoing projects.

A comprehensive or broader perspective is required to re-examine the issue of human resources, employment and education, in the context of the strategic challenges faced by the cultural sector as a whole.

Greece/ 4.2 Recent policy issues and debates

4.2.8 New technologies and cultural policies

The Greek Constitution was recently amended to assert the right of all citizens to take part in the information society. According to a 2007 Eurobarometer survey, only 25% of Greeks use the Internet at least once a month about half the European average. Several reasons have been put forward to explain low levels of access and participation: limited digital literacy; a going-out lifestyle, favouring face-to-face interaction over solitary engagement on the Internet; the current scarcity of useful or interesting Greece-based content and services accessible through the Internet. Recent qualitative changes are, however, noticeable: in 2007, 28% of users access the Internet to visit museum, library or other knowledge-related content, 50% to download to free music, 37% to listen to radio or music, and 35% to search for information on cultural products or events.

There are important changes on the Internet in the field of culture. While back in 2003 only a handful of museums and institutions in the arts had a web presence, typically a dry online presentation of their identity and of their activities, this an increasing number of cultural organisations presenting parts of their collections online, probably to include, by mid-2008, over 200 such organisations that were funded by the Greek Information Society programme to digitise collections and make them available through the Web.

The Ministry of Culture has recently launched a project to re-deploy its Internet presence, by separating the organisational website giving access to reference information about its departments and activities from a cultural portal providing access to selected objects under its auspices, and an electronic marketplace for Greek museum shops and cultural event bookings (see http://www.culturalpolicies.net/web/icons/intern.gifchapter 9.2). These are to replace earlier websites, such as an extensive, journalist-run, portal covering all cultural and artistic events and activities supported by the Ministry of Culture, as well as arms-length cultural organisations, artists and volunteer groups in the arts, which was discontinued in 2006 (see http://www.culturalpolicies.net/web/icons/intern.gifchapter 9.2).

In the field of new media arts, state support is provided to venues and events hosting interesting new artistic work, both from Greece and abroad. These include the yearly Medi@terra festival, which provides a focus for innovative work crossing the boundaries of visual, performing and new media art, mostly from the South East European and Mediterranean area, and a forum for artistic exchange and debate between the region and the rest of the world. A small number of private art galleries, as well as the recently established Museum of Contemporary Art in Athens, regularly exhibit technology-based artworks and installations.

Recent developments were driven by the implementation of a multi-year Operational Plan of the Ministry of Culture in the context of the "Information Society" Operational Programme (mostly from measure 1.3) amounts to ca. 130 million euros (2000-2008). Actions focussed in the following areas:

New policy initiatives concern plans for investments through the 4th Community Support Framework programme in the area of Information Society Technologies, expected to start in 2008. The main challenge perceived concerns the integration, valorisation and exploitation - financial and otherwise - of the large cultural heritage collections expected to be available in digital form by the beginning of the programme. The overall plan is to integrate further initiatives in a "National Cultural Knowledge Web", consisting of integration services providing one-stop access to distributed cultural assets (by public and non-state cultural institutions), and co-ordinated centrally by the Ministry of Culture.

Issues emerging from current and planned policies regarding culture and the information society include:

Greece/ 4.2 Recent policy issues and debates

4.2.9 Heritage issues and policies

Since the 1980s, there has been an attempt to marry the traditional policy priority of archaeological heritage protection and research with regional development policies, in the context of the 2nd Support Framework Programme co-funded by the European Commission. The primary goal is to provide the necessary infrastructure and recognition to attract cultural tourism. This policy was manifested in the:

A notable policy shift was visible in the late 1990s, linked, firstly, with the realisation that investment in physical infrastructure, while necessary, was not sufficient to promote regional development in the field of cultural heritage, and, secondly, with increased pressure towards social and financial accountability in heritage management. The result was:

For more information, see
European Heritage Network: Country profile Greece

Greece/ 4.2 Recent policy issues and debates

4.2.10 Gender equality and cultural policies

Equal participation of women in public, professional, social and cultural life has been recognised as a broader policy objective since the 1980s, when a General Secretariat for (Gender) Equality was established under the Ministry of the Interior. Some practical initiatives undertaken through programmes co-funded by the EU include financial support to women entrepreneurs or development of gender studies programmes in academic curricula. Gender stereotypes have been increasingly challenged in recent years, especially in metropolitan areas, but gender issues remain a peripheral, rather than central, issue in public policy debates. Recently, a mainstreaming approach to issues of gender equality has been adopted, e.g., in all projects supported by the 3rd framework programme. Several projects in the context of the EQUAL programme co-funded by the EU tackle issues of gender equality.

There is no evidence, however, to support the view that either positive discrimination or mainstreaming programmes have had a significant effect on matters related to cultural policy and cultural life.

Greece/ 4. Current issues in cultural policy development and debate

4.3 Other relevant issues and debates

No further policies have been identified in the context of this report (see http://www.culturalpolicies.net/web/icons/intern.gifchapter 4.2.1 to 4.2.9).

Greece/ 5.1 General legislation

5.1.1 Constitution

Article 16 of the Constitution stipulates the right of all to art and culture, and the responsibility of the state to promote it. In addition, Article 24 states that the protection of the cultural environment (including monuments, traditional areas and traditional elements of the environment) is a right of all and an obligation of the state.

Greece/ 5.1 General legislation

5.1.2 Division of jurisdiction

As re-iterated in Law 3028/2002, responsibility for the protection of antiquities and cultural heritage lies with the Ministry of Culture, effected through its central and regional services. According to its organisational framework (Presidential Decree 191/2003) the Ministry has also the responsibility to establish and fund policies in order to promote cultural life (creativity and access), a task it shares, increasingly, with arms-length organisations and bodies appointed by the Minister, such as the State Council of Museums and the recently (2007) founded National Centre for Theatre and Dance. Local and regional government have no official authority on cultural policy, but they are allowed to establish cultural arms (municipal companies) and plan and administer cultural programmes, through a mechanism of "programmatic contracts" signed with the Ministry of Culture.

Greece/ 5.1 General legislation

5.1.3 Allocation of public funds

Information is currently not available.

 

Greece/ 5.1 General legislation

5.1.4 Social security frameworks

Collective agreements for performing artists, such as actors, were established upon the initiative of Melina Mercouri in the early 1980s. Such agreements have been established with public television and radio companies and between the Association of Greek Actors with theatre entrepreneurs. Typically, performers work on short term engagements, either as independent contractors or on a day salary basis, and often find it difficult to collect the necessary time credits in order to be paid a full pension.

Nevertheless, the framework of social security for self-employed artists and authors remains sorely lacking. The Ministry of Culture has intervened in several public cases of financial hardship of writers, artists or actors to offer financial support. It operates an honorary pension scheme, which is, however, limited to a small number of writers and artists deemed to be of national importance (Law 3075/2002).

For more information, see our Status of Artists section

Greece/ 5.1 General legislation

5.1.5 Tax laws

For many years, there have been few legal and financial incentives to promote sponsorship in the fields of culture and the arts. An Amendment to the Tax Law which provided tax exemptions for cultural sponsorship (1990) was practically rescinded under austerity economic policies in 1997. In 2007, however, legislation was introduced to offer significant tax incentives for arts sponsorship; a central bureau is to be set up, firstly to certify that a given sponsorship initiative is indeed for a bona fide cultural cause, and, secondly, to produce a list of priority projects in arts and heritage for which sponsorship will be sought.

Inheritance tax on art collections can be paid in kind, a measure effectively equal to a public purchase of art programme. This measure helps to ease the burden of people who would have to face a heavy financial burden if they came to inherit an important collection.

The income derived by writers and artists from their creative work is VAT exempt.

Greece/ 5.1 General legislation

5.1.6 Labour laws

See http://www.culturalpolicies.net/web/icons/intern.gifchapter 5.1.4.

For more information, see our Status of Artists section

Greece/ 5.1 General legislation

5.1.7 Copyright provisions

Law 2121/1993 defines a comprehensive framework for copyright protection, including provisions for genres or work and modes of reproduction made possible through technological development; it accepts a broad definition of what constitutes a "work", including any "original intellectual literary, artistic or scientific creation expressed in any form", such as musical compositions, dramatic works, choreographies and pantomimes, audiovisual works, fine art, architecture, applied art, illustrations, maps etc., but also computer programs and databases; multimedia productions are not mentioned by name, but are generally covered by the law. It also defines the moral rights of creators as inalienable.

In general, copyright protection is for seventy years after the death of the author. The law provides for a non-transferable moral right of the author (and his or her heirs), and regulates the terms under which his or her economic rights may be transferred, exercised and exploited. A principle of a percentage-based fee to the author is stipulated for published works, as well as for performances (and additional forms of exploitation) of audiovisual works. A fair use limitation applies to public, educational or judicial information.

The interests of right holders over copying of their work are served by a compulsory fee: 4% of the value of photocopying machines and of photocopy paper, and 8% of the value of visual or sound or audiovisual recording equipment, payable and distributed through collecting societies. Copyright infringements are recognised as offences both in civil and penal law, and right holders are entitled to recover high amounts of damages in case of infringement.

A sui generis right on a hitherto unpublished work, such as an archaeological find, is conferred on the person who first brings it into the public domain or first publishes the work; conversely, according to legislation introduced in 2007, Ministry of Culture archaeologists entitled to a leave of absence for research are obliged to publish works under their control, or face specific career advancement strictures. Law 3028/2002 asserts a right of the Greek state over reproductions (photographic, digital or physical) of Greek monuments and cultural heritage objects under state ownership. In addition, Law 2524/2007 harmonises Greek IPR legislation with EU directives, establishes performance rights of original creators, provides for the operation of rights collectives and specifies an effective framework for enforcement against violations.

Greece/ 5.1 General legislation

5.1.8 Data protection laws

The Constitution (Article 9A) provides for personal data protection, as is regulated by law. An independent Personal Data Protection Authority is entitled with the right to intervene and enforce penalties in cases of violation.

Greece/ 5.1 General legislation

5.1.9 Language laws

Current legislation includes several measures intended to promote Greek literature, as well as literary translations from and into the Greek language. Special measures included literary prizes, commissioning of works, the purchase of a number of copies of works by state libraries and other organisations, etc.

Also, films primarily in the Greek language or created by Greek filmmakers are eligible for production funding by the Greek Film Centre, and for prizes given by the state, especially in the context of the Thessaloniki Cinema Festival. In addition, movie theatres and film distribution companies are eligible for tax rebates for screening or distributing films in the Greek language.

Greece/ 5.2 Legislation on culture

The obligation of the state to support artistic creativity and protect cultural heritage stems from the Greek constitution (Articles 16 and 24). Policy making, establishing cultural institutions and allocating funds for culture are the responsibilities of the Ministry of Culture as outlined in their organisational statutes. When appropriate, the Ministry of Culture co-operates with other Ministries (such as the Ministry for the Economy) to prepare and introduce legislation which is approved by the parliament and via presidential decrees.

Legislation related to heritage, culture and the arts originally consisted of an agglomeration of amendments to laws dating back to the 19th and early 20th century. After 1974, and especially since the 1980s, there has been a consistent attempt to modernise, bring together and systematise legislation within a smaller number of comprehensive laws.

The following pieces of legislation regarding culture should be noted:

Greece/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation

5.3.1 Visual and applied arts

Information is currently not available.

 

Greece/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation

5.3.2 Performing arts and music

The Law on Foundation of National Centre for Theatre and Dance was voted by Parliament on 15 May 2007. It provides for the creation of an arms-length organisation, as a legal body in private law, to assist the Ministry of Culture in a wide area of responsibilities, from funding decisions to strategic planning in the performing arts.

Greece/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation

5.3.3 Cultural heritage

Law 3828/2002 regulates all aspects of cultural heritage protection and management, replacing a complex sequence of amendments to earlier pieces of legislation dating to 1932 and 1950. The provisions of the current legislation can be summarised as follows:

Greece/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation

5.3.4 Literature and libraries

Information is currently not available.

Greece/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation

5.3.5 Architecture and environment

Information is currently not available.

Greece/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation

5.3.6 Film, video and photography

See http://www.culturalpolicies.net/web/icons/intern.gifchapter 5.3.7 and http://www.culturalpolicies.net/web/icons/intern.gifchapter 5.3.8.

Greece/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation

5.3.7 Culture industries

There is no single comprehensive law for the culture industries as a whole, as they are not really considered to be a cohesive field of activity (broadcast media, in particular, being considered as a separate field and regulated by a separate Law, 2328/1995).

The Ministry of Culture is, however, responsible for the field of film production, distribution and screening which is regulated by Law 1597/1986. There is a legal framework for the economic exploitation of cultural creativity through publishing, production of audiovisual works or public performance, defined by Law 2121/1993. Specific clauses regarding the regulation and support of the publishing industry, film, independent and state drama companies, and orchestras are included in Law 2557/1997.

Support for the production of several feature films, short films and documentaries is provided by the Greek Film Centre. In addition, TV channels are required to provide a subsidy for the promotion of cinema, a measure adhered to in practice only by the public broadcasting corporation ERT. A selection process granting subsidies to independent (private) theatre has been recently re-established adopting more transparent and rational criteria, based on an evaluation of past performance and proposed plans. Book publishing, theatre, music and other performing arts productions, benefit from state subsidies, not only from the Ministry of Culture but also from other ministries (e.g., in the form of bulk purchase of books for libraries, or of theatre tickets for distribution to lower income employees).

The production of Greek films is supported by the state through the Greek Film Centre (see also http://www.culturalpolicies.net/web/icons/intern.gifchapter 5.3). Distribution and screening of quality films, as well as open air cinemas, are supported through a countrywide network of municipal cinemas, now operating in the context of the Domain of Culture programme (see also http://www.culturalpolicies.net/web/icons/intern.gifchapter 2.2).

Greece/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation

5.3.8 Mass media

Since the late 1980s, the Greek audiovisual media sector is organised in two tiers: the public radio and television broadcasting, represented by ERT (the Greek Radio and Television corporation), and a large number of private radio and television channels. There are also two competing digital satellite TV and radio services, bundling together a large number of international and Greek channels; cable does not exist in Greece.

Private TV channels cannot be said to have a cultural agenda (although the positive portrayal of economic immigrants and Roma people in recently screened sitcoms may be noteworthy), and rare experiments in niche cultural programming, such as by the seven X channel, have not met with commercial success. On the other hand, the public broadcasting corporation ERT has an educational and cultural agenda described in its official mission: "to develop public radio and television through the production of high quality programmes which promote impartial and full information, diversity, entertainment, preservation of historical memory, promotion of Greek and world culture, and eradication of xenophobia and racism".

Among the three public TV channels, entertainment-oriented NET and regional-focus, Thessaloniki-based ET3, regularly commission and broadcast programmes of cultural interest, including, cultural and historical documentaries, adaptations of literary and theatrical works for TV, and cultural magazinos. They also broadcast Greek and international quality films, musical events and other programmes of cultural interest. The programmes of the satellite channel ERT-SAT, transmitted in the Greek language and intended for the Greek Diaspora, include a strong component of predominantly Greek cultural programming.

Of the two dozen nation-wide and regional radio stations in the public broadcasting system, Radio Cosmos specialises in multicultural, folk and ethnic music from all over the world. The 3rd programme focuses on Classical music, but also hosts jazz and traditional music, literature, and arts programmes. Most radio stations follow, in practice, a zone system allocating several hours of broadcasting per day to Greek music. In addition, public radio corporation ERT recently launched Philia, a radio station transmitting in 12 languages with a mixed cultural, news and general interest programme, targeting migrant worker communities. This complements Athens International Radio, the successful multicultural, foreign-language programme of the Athens Municipality.

In the field of cinema, the Greek Film Centre, a corporation supervised by the Ministry of Culture, has re-focussed itself firmly as a development agency for Greek film. It now co-finances on average 15 feature films, 15 shorts and 5 documentaries yearly (films in the Greek language and / or made by people of Greek nationality or origin), supports a regional network of movie theatres screening Greek and European Union films, encourages synergies between private and public sector, and otherwise supports the development of Greek cinema.

To put the role of public media organisations in context, it should be noted that public television channels are watched by only ca. 10% of all viewers, while the preferences of the majority of viewers lie with international brand reality shows, Greek and imported sitcoms, and standard entertainment industry films shown by the private channels. Also, English-language pop music is the predominant genre heard on radio and television (although Greeks were found by a 2002 Eurobarometer special survey on culture to listen extensively to local music as well). While public media organisations do see themselves in a cultural or educational role, it is apparent that television, radio and cinema are perceived by the public mostly as entertainment.

Greece follows the European Union directive concerning content quotas, which, according to Greek legislation is interpreted as 50% of programming. A significant part of both public and private radio and TV programmes is in Greek and Greek popular music is as popular as ever. The public Radio and Television Corporation also dedicates a considerable amount of resources to original Greek productions. Indeed, quotas appear to be respected more consistently by the public broadcasting corporation ERT than by some of its privately-owned competitors.

On the other hand, foreign films and other programmes are shown, as a rule, in the original language with Greek subtitles, both in Greek television and in movie theatres. All in all, there appears to be a balance of Greek and foreign (mostly English language) programming on Greek television; the majority of the programmes are, as it is to be expected, mass culture oriented, but there are also interesting films, plays, talk shows and documentaries, especially shown on the public television, attracting an educated audience that makes a distinction on the basis of quality rather than programming language.

Greece/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation

5.3.9 Legislation for self-employed artists

See http://www.culturalpolicies.net/web/icons/intern.gifchapter 5.1.4.

For more information, see our Status of Artists section

Greece/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation

5.3.10 Other areas of relevant legislation

Information is currently not available.

 

Greece/ 6. Financing of culture

6.1 Short overview

While only 0.58% of the ordinary public budget of the Greek state is allocated to culture through the Ministry of Culture (294.9 million euros for 2006, not including sports funding), a further 200.5 million euros was given in 2006 to culture-related actions through the public investment programme, and additional funds were made available through the lottery scheme operated by the state-owned Greek Organisation of Football Prognostics SA. Significant activities are co-funded by the Greek state an the European Union through the multi-annual 3rd Community Support Framework, amounting to 647.7 million euros for the Operational Programme "Culture" in the period 2000-2008. This does not include spending on cultural activities channelled through the budget of the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs, regional and local government, the public Radio and Television Corporation, and other agencies not under the authority of the Ministry of Culture.

Average yearly household spending on "culture and leisure" in 2004-2005 was 1 081.32 euros amounting to 5% of overall household spending. Direct culture spending amounts, however, to a smaller percentage, i.e., 149.88 euros yearly or 0.7% for attendance of events (movies, theatre, opera, music performance, museums, but also including circuses, as well as photography lab expenses), 142.68 euros or 0.66% for purchase of books, and 51 euros or 0.235% for purchase of media (audio and video); there is significant variation dependent on financial status, with poor people spending only 180.48 euros yearly, or 0.8%, on "culture and leisure".

Greece/ 6. Financing of culture

6.2 Public cultural expenditure per capita

Public expenditure on culture (as indicated by general government expenditure in the cultural sector divided by total population) per capita in 2006 was approximately 32 euros (on the basis of population as calculated in the 2001 census). It corresponded to 0.18% of the GDP.

These figures are based only on expenditures channelled through the Ministry of Culture budget, i.e., it excludes cultural spending of local government and other Ministries.

Greece/ 6. Financing of culture

6.3 Public cultural expenditure broken down by level of government

Table 1:     Public cultural expenditure: by level of government in euros, 2006

Level of government

Total expenditure

% share of total

State

567 981 681 (1)

 

Regional

N/A

 

Local

N/A

 

Total

 

100%

1       This is the allocation of the ordinary state and public investment budget of the Ministry of Culture, excluding ordiuary budget funds for the Underecretariat of Sport. It excludes additional sources of cultural funding, such as public lotteries, European Union funds, and revenues of the Archaeological Receipts Fund. In the nine year period 2000-2008, European Union funds allocated through the Operational Programme "Culture" of the Community Support Framework amounts to 647 639 624 euros.

Greece/ 6. Financing of culture

6.4 Sector breakdown

Table 2:     State cultural expenditure: by sector, in thousand euro, 2006

Field

Total

% share of total

1. Museums and archives

174 030 822

 

62.2

2. Monuments and sites

3. Literature

3 160 000

2.0

4. Libraries

10 637 000

n.a.

5. Press

 

n.a.

6. Music

15 867 000

11.0

7. Performing arts

42 082 000

6.8

8. Visual arts

7 129 000

1.7

9. Film / cinema / photography / video

7 812 224

3.6

10. Radio / television

n.a.

n.a.

11. Socio-cultural activities

1 646 000

3.1

12. Expenditure on cultural activities abroad

4 164 250

n.a.

13. Education and training

n.a.

n.a.

14. Others

27 667 563

9.57

Total

294 195 859

100

Source:      Regular Budget of the Hellenic Republic: A) Ministry of Culture: http://www.mnec.gr/el/economics/budgets/ypoio_kratikos_proyp_2008/proyp2008/PDFProyp/2.5.10.3.pdf  b) Ministry of National Education and Creeds: http://www.mnec.gr/ el/economics/budgets/ypoio_kratikos_proyp_2008/proyp2008/PDFProyp/2.5.9.3.pdf,

Notes:       a) The amount for rows 1-2 excludes funds for archives (included in row 4: libraries); it may be slightly overestimated as it includes, apart from wage and salary cost for the 3 000 strong archaeological service, that of Ministry staff; b) Total is based on the Ministry of Culture ordinary budget, excluding funds for the General Secretariat of Sport and including funds for libraries and archives, administered through the Ministry of National Education and Creeds; c) Public investment budget for the Ministry of Culture in 2006 was an additional 284 million euros.  

Greece/ 7. Cultural institutions and new partnerships

7.1 Re-allocation of public responsibilities

There has not been a direct re-allocation of public responsibilities for culture to the private sector. The Greek approach to decentralisation / privatisation has been based, firstly, on the establishment and strengthening of the role of organisations operating under the arms-length principle and, secondly, on the transfer of funding and operational responsibilities for arts development to local government. Except for works in archaeological sites and museums, which remain under the direct control of the Ministry exercised through the archaeological service, most other construction works and operational programmes relating to culture (such as the organisation of festivals) are now controlled and funded by regional administration and local government.

Greece/ 7. Cultural institutions and new partnerships

7.2 Status/role and development of major cultural institutions

The main organisational shift in the management of the arts in Greece consists of the strengthening of organisations operating, formally and to some extent also in practice, under the arms-length principle. Sectoral organisations, such as the National Book Centre are controlled by the state through the direct appointment of their Board of Directors by the Minister of Culture, but receive a separate budget which they can manage according to their established goals and action plan. Local arts organisations are typically established by municipalities, and receive funding by both the local government and the Ministry of Culture, under a matching funds principle, which they spend according to the terms of tripartite programmatic agreements; their Boards are appointed by the local government authority, with the exception of one non-executive Director appointed by the Ministry of Culture. Most of these organisations have the status of companies or foundations in private law, which affords them relative flexibility in staffing, financial management and operations.

Several archaeological museums and art galleries of special status have increased autonomy from the central service of the Ministry of Culture, although they are still staffed by Ministry officials and receive their budget from the state. This status allows them to have their own budget and specialised staff, to engage in their own planning and programming and, in some cases, to manage funds derived from own sales.

Greece/ 7. Cultural institutions and new partnerships

7.3 Emerging partnerships or collaborations

Private patronage in the arts has had a significant impact on Greek cultural development during the last quarter century, consisting both in the establishment of new institutions and in the provision of essential support for large scale cultural events. Notable examples of institutions established with private patronage include the Goulandris Museum of Natural History, the Cycladic Art Museum, the DESTE Foundation of Contemporary Art, the Goulandris Museum of Modern Art on the island of Andros, and the Foundation of the Hellenic World. The State Museum of Contemporary Art was established in Thessaloniki following the state acquisition of the private Kostakis collection, a very important early 20th century art collection.

Perhaps the most notable example of private-public co-operation concerns the Athens Concert Hall. The initiative and initial funds of the Society of the Friends of Music, an association of affluent supporters of classical music, led, after two decades of effort, to the establishment of the Athens Concert Hall. It is the first facility providing state-of-the-art conditions for the performance and recording of concert music in Greece, and its recently built congress centre is a focus for a host of literary and cultural events. The Athens Concert Hall has been established as an independent foundation, with members of the Board of Directors appointed both by the state and by the Society of the Friends of Music. Its yearly programme is supported by a large state subsidy.

These initiatives and partnerships have been established as the result of the commitment by individuals - people working for the Ministry of Culture who saw an opportunity to support a good cause, or patrons who had a collection or asset and wished to make it available to the public - and not as the outcome of an established policy. Recent legislation on private art collections and museums makes an effort to regulate more consistently the terms under which these collections and museums are established, run and supported by the state; we have to wait and see what impact it will have on patronage and co-operation between donors and the state. The Cultural Sponsorship Law voted in 2007, and providing tax exemptions to sponsors, is expected to have significant positive impact on new alliances between cultural organisations and companies willing to support the arts as part of their sponsorship or corporate social responsibility policies.

Greece/ 8. Support to creativity and participation

8.1 Direct and indirect support to artists

There is indirect, rather than direct, support by the state for literary and artistic creativity. In the case of literature, these take the form of bulk purchasing of literary works by the Ministry of Culture. In the case of photography, the Ministry co-operates with private galleries to support the "photography month", providing an opportunity for the sale of photographic work.

In addition, there is an obligatory 1% of the budget of public buildings to be allocated to the acquisition of art works.

The Ministry of Culture has established a universal honorary pension scheme for recognised writers and artists, however, the pensions given through this scheme are very meagre, and the scheme is currently being evaluated.

Law 2557/97 makes indirect provisions for a number of issues relevant to the promotion of creativity and the role of creators, from literary, dance and drama prizes to the creation of galleries or art, education in the performing arts, and support for artistic and cultural associations.

Greece/ 8.1 Direct and indirect support to artists

8.1.1 Special artists funds

Information is currently not available.

Greece/ 8.1 Direct and indirect support to artists

8.1.2 Grants, awards, scholarships

The awards system has been restructured in recent legislation. The national literary awards have been reorganised, to allow for both recognising the contribution of a writer in his or her lifetime (through the special "great" literary prize) and the contribution of younger, less established writers, based on work published in the last twelve months. There are also National Quality Prizes for movies and short films, in the context of the Thessaloniki Film Festival and the Short Film Festival of Drama. A number of awards have been established for dance, and a major prize in commemoration of Melina Mercouri was introduced to reward cultural contributions of national importance. The Thessaloniki Song Festival has been recently revived, and provides an opportunity for typically non-established popular music composers and singers to compete and be publicly exposed. There is also a scheme to support young artists through travel bursaries and grants.

Greece/ 8.1 Direct and indirect support to artists

8.1.3 Support to professional artists associations or unions

All major associations of writers, visual and performing arts artists receive a subsidy from the Ministry of Culture.

Greece/ 8.2 Cultural consumption and participation

8.2.1 Trends and figures

There has not been a comprehensive survey of visitor cultural practices in Greece. Quantitative information is therefore partial, inconsistent and anecdotal, and not amenable to be presented in tabular form for fear of misinterpretation.

Figures available concerning attendance at museums and archaeological sites suggest a significant increase in visitor attendance in the last few years, especially for museums:

Table 3:     Attendance at museums and archaeological sites, 2000 and 2006

Year

2000

2006

Archaeological sites and monuments

7 141 420

7 516 665

Museums

1 948 288

2 795 465

Source:  National Statistical Service of Greece, Admissions to museums by month, 2000, 2006; idem, Admissions to archaeological sites by month, 2000, 2006.

The vast majority of visits are to archaeological sites of national importance such as the Acropolis of Athens, Knossos, Olympia, Lindos and Epidaurus and the Knights' Palace of Rhodes, and major museums such as the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion, the National Archaeological Museum of Athens and the Benaki Museum.

The special Eurobarometer survey 278 (2007) found out that, during the last twelve months, 71% of Greeks attended a cultural programme on TV or radio at least once; 59% read a book; 46% have been to the cinema; 33% visited a monument or site; 30% have been to the theatre; 25% visited a museum (almost twice as many as in the 2002 survey); 21% have been to a concert; 15% visited a library; and, 12% have been to the ballet or opera..

According to an earlier Eurobarometer survey (2002), only 24.6% of Greeks listen to international pop music, while a majority of 62.5% listen to Greek music records; 37% of Greeks claim to have been to a live performance of Greek music, and 30.7% have danced (not necessarily at the same occasion) in the last twelve months. On the other hand, according to Eurostat (2006), Greeks frequent the cinema only 1.2 times a year on average (13 million admissions altogether).

Greece/ 8.2 Cultural consumption and participation

8.2.2 Policies and programmes

Free entry to museums and galleries has been a major policy supporting the familiarisation of certain groups to cultural heritage assets:

In addition, museums are free for all visitors on Sundays during the low-season. Those over the age of 65 pay a reduced price. Lower income workers and their families have access to reduced theatre tickets under a scheme operated by the Ministry of Labour. Other relevant schemes include free guides in museums, as well as free visits to museums by schools, etc.

The Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Education have jointly launched the Melina programme of artistic education, intending to provide a wide-ranging framework of educational opportunities for school children in the fields of cultural heritage and the arts which are complementary to (but not limited within the constraints of) the national school curriculum.

The National Book Centre has special programmes to promote reading among certain groups such as the establishment and operation of libraries in the Kassaveteia rehabilitation centre of under-age prisoners and in the Aulona prison, a programme to support reading activities in 14 public libraries in the underdeveloped and multicultural prefecture of Evros in Thrace (in co-operation with local government), and a reading "relay" competition involving more than 1 000 schools in all regions of Greece.

While there is no explicit policy linking cultural participation to citizenship, the Citizens in Deed initiative, under the patronage of the office of the prime-minister, has been active since 2005 in providing networking and support for volunteer organisations and individuals, some of which are involved in the field of culture.

Greece/ 8.3 Arts and cultural education

8.3.1 Arts education

Arts education in Greece is subject to a two-tiered system. On the one hand, it concerns the formal school curriculum, which was gradually reformed during the 1990s by the Ministry of Education to include a stronger arts education component, both at primary and secondary school levels. In addition, special music secondary schools were created, in recognition of the provisions required for musical education. On the other hand, arts education is the province of informal learning activities and programmes, organised by departments of the Ministry of Culture or by not-for-profit organisations in the arts, in loose association with the school system.

A model initiative, on account of its broad scope and interdisciplinary learning methodologies, is the Melina programme, launched in 1995 by the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Education. The programme brings together more than a hundred Greek primary schools with a broad alliance of cultural organisations. The programme aims to nurture artistic sensitivity and creativity among both teachers and pupils; programme activities include seminars for teachers, the production of model learning materials and kits, model educational visits to arts sites and structured visits of artists to schools. This is to be supplemented, or supplanted, by a planned new programme on education and culture, to be run jointly by respective ministries, which also covers the broad spectrum of potential educational activities in the arts and heritage.

Other programmes of arts education include:

Professional education in the arts and cultural management is still governed by traditional structures in Greece. There are several academic departments of theatre studies, art history, archaeology, anthropology, cultural and media studies, but only a handful specialisation programmes in the cultural professions: a postgraduate course in cultural management in Panteion University, museum studies postgraduate programmes in the Universities of Athens and Thessaloniki, postgraduate programmes in digital media arts in the Athens School of Fine Arts and in the University of the Aegean, and an undergraduate programme in cultural communication and technology in the University of the Aegean.

Universities are asked to prepare plans for harmonisation with the Bologna process under a new Higher Education Law passed in Parliament in summer 2007.

Greece/ 8.3 Arts and cultural education

8.3.2 Intercultural education

A Special Secretariat for Intercultural Education, and an Institute operating under an arms length principle, has been in existence in the Greek Ministry of Education since 1996. Several intercultural education schools were created during the last ten years in almost all parts of Greece, and programmes to train teachers for the needs of intercultural education were established. Induction classes were created in general education schools, to help children of immigrant families to be integrated in the Greek school system.

In the context of the integrated inter-ministerial programme for social inclusion, coordinated by the Ministry of the Interior, and following changes in legislation emphasising positive mechanisms for cultural inclusion rather than punitive measures linking residence with acquisition of language skills, educational programmes were established under the auspices of local government to familiarise economic immigrants with Greek language and culture. In addition, a model educational programme for children of the Muslim minority of Thrace has been running since the late 1990s, producing impressive results as regards not only the attainment of educational goals by participating children (cutting dropout rate by half), but also the social capital and the nurturing of mutual cultural understanding in the local community. A similar programme with Roma children, launched in 2002, reportedly more than doubled the percentage of children completing obligatory (9-year) education.

The Universities of Athens, Thessaloniki and the Peloponnese have been involved in regional cooperation projects to produce intercultural textbooks and teaching materials which provide a more pluralistic account for the history and literature of South Eastern Europe that has been traditionally the case in national education systems in the region. Such materials have been tested successfully in experimental educational settings, but have yet to penetrate the general curriculum, which, in public debate, is still dominated by the traditional discourse of national historiography.

For more information, see our Intercultural Dialogue section.

Greece/ 8.4 Amateur arts, cultural associations and community centres

8.4.1 Amateur arts

There are numerous cultural associations in Greece, mostly in the field of local history and traditional culture, as well as local film clubs. They are active in publishing and organising lectures and other small impact events. In general, associations receive some financial support from the state or local government, but this support is not adequate to allow them to contribute in a significant way to cultural life. In some cases, however, these associations have formed the basis for the establishment of umbrella local and regional cultural organisations. In this context, local governments provide support via programmes such as the National Cultural Network of Cities and the Domain of Culture programme (see also http://www.culturalpolicies.net/web/icons/intern.gifchapter 2.2).

Greece/ 8.4 Amateur arts, cultural associations and community centres

8.4.2 Cultural houses and community cultural clubs

Information is currently not available.

Greece/ 9. Sources and Links

9.1 Key documents on cultural policy

Hellenic Cultural Heritage SA: Cultural Olympiad 2001-2004.
http://www.cultural-olympiad.gr

Hellenic Cultural Heritage SA: -for a culture of civilisations: Cultural Olympiad 2001-2004. No publication data. 

Kallinikou, Dionysia: Greek legislation on copyright and related rights. 1998. 
http://www.culture.gr/6/64/rights.html

Morris, Ian: Archaeologies of Greece. In Ian Morris (ed.): Classical Greece: ancient histories and modern archaeologies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994, p. 8-47. 

Presidency of the Hellenic Republic: Law 2121/1993, Copyright, related rights and cultural matters. In Government Gazette of the Hellenic Republic, issue no. 25, 4 March 1993.  http://www.culture.gr/6/64/law2121.html

Spadaro, Rosario: Executive Summary. Europeans' participation in cultural activities. A Eurobarometer survey carried out at the request of the European Commission Eurostat, April 2002.

Greece/ 9. Sources and Links

9.2 Key organisations and portals

Cultural policy making bodies

Hellenic Ministry of Culture 
http://www.culture.gr

Professional associations

Hellenic Culture Organisation 
http://www.hch.culture.gr

National Book Centre 
http://www.ekebi.gr

Grant-giving bodies

Foundation for Hellenic Culture 
http://www.foundationhellenicculture.com

Foundation of the Hellenic World 
http://www.hellenichistory.gr

Cultural research and statistics

National Statistical Service of Greece 
http://www.statistics.gr

Culture / arts portals

Cultural Olympiad 
http://www.cultural-olympiad.gr

Domain of Culture Portal  
http://www.cultureguide.gr/events/index.jsp

Greece Now, the contemporary Greek e-zine and online resource 
http://www.greece-now.org/CULTURE/

 


The Council of Europe/ERICarts "Compendium of Cultural Policies and Trends in Europe, 9th edition", 2008