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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Who will save Kamerata

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The Ministry of Culture is called upon to break the heavy bond of Camerata

A political solution is required

An incredible cycle of misunderstanding between all the actors involved in the operation of the Camerata-Orchestra of Friends of Music, but also of the employees themselves, prolongs the chronic problems that lead to the death of the top-admittedly-orchestra. The thorn in the side of all the malfunctions seems to be the inability to determine the exact debt of the Music & Educational Organization of Greece, the NPID responsible for the operation of the Orchestra, a body supervised by the Ministry of Culture. Thus, it seems impossible for the Ministry of Culture to appoint a new board of directors that will take over the burden of debts and not only, after the resignation of all members of the Board in 2015. The absence of a board of directors results in the impossibility of any state and private subsidy.

From last September, a management audit ordered by the Ministry of Culture was started by certified public accountants, who, however, encounter major obstacles as they are unable to find all the necessary information needed to complete the audit, according to recent statements by the Minister of Culture. For their part, the employees claim that they have submitted all the information requested to them by the Ministry of Culture and that the responsible company of certified public accountants does not receive it.

Thus the request of the employees to have a political initiative for the appointment of a board of directors remains unfulfilled. In this context, they address an open letter to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras requesting his mediation.

And the misunderstanding continues

The Ministry of Culture issued a press release on Friday, July 6, stating that it has launched the legislative regulation for the final resolution of the issue of Kamerata MEOE and that it is planned to join the Athens Concert Hall as a musical group.

However, neither the musicians nor the president of the Concert Hall, Mr. Nikos Theocharakis who attended the press conference they had no relevant information while they were and skeptical of the legal or political way in which this will be achieved. Mr. Theocharakis even stated that he has been in discussions with the Ministry for a long time and has agreed to save the orchestra but with two conditions: first that it will be liquidated first and all the debts will have been paid and second that its financing will not come from the regular budget of the Megaron but a separate fund will come out. Conditions agreed by the Minister of Culture Ms. Koniordou.

Controversies and tragic accounts

The orchestra currently has eight members - "we can not talk about an orchestra exactly" will say Mr. Theocharakis "but for two quartets". The report of the course is tragic: a musician committed suicide, two members died of cancer unpaid and without a stamp, and several were fired. But instead of sympathy between the employees (fired and not) there were confrontations and grievances, about the choices of the past but also about the current situation.

In any case, Kamerata is an excellent orchestra with an impressive course that just last year cut over 7000 tickets just from its appearance at the Athens Festival. And they deserve more respect - from all directions.

Basia Baketea

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