Greece plans quota of local music to be played in hotel lobbies and public spaces

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With Greece preparing for a another busy summer, the government has ruled it is time to take action.

Under draft legislation already put to public consultation, more than 45% of all music heard on local radio or in public spaces will in future have to be Greek, culture minister Lina Mendoni mentioned, according to the Guardian.

“In a globalised environment, English-language music has almost been imposed [on us],” she said in defence of the bill. “The spread of Greek-language music is limited. Statistics show that Greek music amounts to 30% of what is heard; 70% is foreign music. We … have a duty, under the constitution, to protect art.”

The law will be even more draconian in the case of state-funded films and audiovisual content. In both the music quota rises to 70%.

The development is music to the ears of Greek singers, lyricists and composers. The culture sector was also hit hard by Covid lockdowns.

Hoteliers are outraged at the prospect of having to give airtime to the likes of Zorba the Greek, in the lifts and lobbies of resorts. The Greek film industry said the law was a curb on freedom of expression and amounted to censorship. But the culture minister has her supporters.

The need for help is urgent and it’s now or never, they say, at a time when music rights are big business, digital music streaming services are becoming ever more prolific and even a small music market such as Greece’s – estimated to be worth about €24m a year – is predicted to see profits double.

“This is the first time we are trying to do something to empower Greek-language songs,” Mendoni said.

Source: Guardian

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