Bull fighting sector battles government’s IVA proposals

Portugal’s bullfighting sector accepts that it has lost its indemnity against paying IVA, but doesn’t agree with proposals in the State Budget that bullfights should start paying the tax at 13%. Citing ideological discrimination, Association Prótoiro wants to be pegged at 6%, “as applicable to all other cultural events”. Bloco de Esquerda MPs however say promoters should pay top whack: 23%. The debate continues to be heard in parliament.

Said Helder Milheiro of the Prótoiro association this morning, his members are seeking the dismissal of Culture Minister Graça Fonseca, on the basis that she has failed to regard bullfighting as “an integral part of Portuguese Culture” – and shown her personal dislike of it in public through what he termed “unacceptable” remarks made in parliament.

Culture has nothing to do with politics, Milheiro told SIC television news. “It has to do with the people, and the State has to manage the culture of the country. It cannot impose its own personal likes or feelings”.

Fonseca’s “unacceptable remarks” appear not only to have upset Associação Prótoiro, its supporters and other parties, they have divided ruling PS Socialists as well, say reports.

What did she say? The country’s first openly gay minister stressed that removing the IVA exemption for bullfights was not a matter of taste, “it’s a matter of civilization”.

Said Expresso, her words left bullfighting fans and their ‘friends in parliament’ (the centre-right and Communists) “in shock”.

[email protected]