The Spanish Supreme Court has ruled that bullfighting and taurine spectacles should be included in the activities that can be enjoyed by the government´s free youth culture voucher scheme.
The scheme called the Bono Cultural Joven entitles Spaniards turning 18 to a €400 allowance – half of which can be spent on attending cultural events such as festivals, concerts, plays, exhibitions and films – and now bullfighting.
The scheme which was first announced in 2021 as part of the EU Recovery Package came into force in July of last year.
Spain is one of the biggest recipients of the package with some 140 billion Euros in grants and soft loans.
The Bono Cultural has a budget of €210 million and some half a million young people are expected to be beneficiaries of it when they buy tickets for cultural activities and services.
The central government´s initial omission of taurine activities caused consternation in some of Spain´s traditional heartlands.
The Fundación del Toro de Lidia, which promotes bullfighting took legal action against the government which went to the Supreme court who ruled in their favour.
The Fundación’s president, Victorino Martín, said bullfighting was one of Spain’s “most distinctive cultural expressions” and described its exclusion from the scheme as “cultural censorship and an attack on freedom”.
The court ruled that bullfighting had been declared part of Spain’s “cultural heritage” under a 2013 law, adding that its “cultural, historical and artistic aspects” had been afforded legal recognition.
The Madrid regional premier, Isabel Diaz Ayuso, who has long championed bullfighting, said the ruling showed that it was part of Spain’s culture and shouldn’t suffer discrimination because of “ideological bias”.
The voucher is open to anyone on turning 18 and is valid for 12 months.
It is open to anyone with Spanish nationality, as well as legal residents from other countries.
The voucher is divided into three sections:
- €200 can be spent on live arts, cultural heritage, and audio-visual arts. For example, tickets and subscriptions for performing arts, live music, cinema, museums, libraries, exhibitions and scenic, literary, musical or audio-visual festivals.
- €100 can be spent on cultural products in a physical format: books; magazines, newspapers, or other periodicals; video games, sheet music, records, CD, DVD or Blu-ray.
- Another €100 can be spent on digital or online consumption: subscriptions and rentals to music, reading or audio-books, or audio-visual platforms, purchase of audiobooks, purchase of e-books, subscription to download podcasts, subscriptions to online video games, digital subscriptions to newspapers, magazines or other periodicals.