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Spain okays protectionist convention

Film and television covered by Unesco agreement

MADRID — The Spanish government has ratified a Unesco convention that encourages nations to preserve their culture — including movies and TV — through protectionist measures.

Moved by France, the convention was adopted by Unesco in October 2005 after receiving the backing of a vast majority of its 148 member states. The convention was opposed by the U.S., sometimes stridently.

Spain’s King Juan Carlos I and foreign business minister Miguel Angel Oratinos signed the internal ratification instrument at the end of October.

But the ratification wasn’t announced until Thursday at a press conference in Madrid by the Spanish Coalition for Cultural Diversity. The body includes powerful film lobbies such as producers org Fapae, actors federation Faee and authors’ rights collection entity Sgae.

Counting Spain, 14 European countries, including France, Austria, Denmark and Sweden, have now concluded the convention’s internal ratification process.

In the U.K., approval is advanced; in Germany and Italy, it’s just begin-ning.

Next Tuesday, the European Union aims to confirm the approval of eight countries, including Spain, a necessary step before forwarding them to Unesco.

When this take place, the convention will have been ratified by more than 30 countries worldwide, the minimum requirement for an international convention to come into force. Spanish authorities claim that more than 60 countries will have adopted the convention by next October.