A ministry’s artless posturing

The repeated cancellation of big arts productions gives an indication of the Culture Ministry’s future course. The ministry has stopped the release of funds for cultural events; it has failed to pay back outstanding debts from last year’s program; it sees no obligation to answer to outside criticism; it does not meet its obligations and it is pushing various festivals toward extinction. Ministry officials see no need to offer any explanation – or at least admit that there is no money in the ministry coffers. As a result, well-established and popular events, such as the Kalamata Dance Festival or the Babel Comics Festival in Athens, are in danger since the ministry has decided to freeze its accounts following the case of former Culture Ministry general secretary Christos Zachopoulos. Michalis Liapis, a politician with rich experience in the growth of railways, trams and aircraft, ought to give an explanation as culture minister. Will the state respect the contracts and agreements it has signed? Or will it behave like a bankrupt producer, shying away from phone calls and the least of its responsibilities?