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Sánchez Aspires To Make Spain The Hollywood Of Europe

Pedro Sánchez looks to the future. To the potential of the aerospace industry , to Spanish and its cultures (plural) as a “language of progress and entrepreneurship”, to the mecca of cinema and audiovisual production to make Spain ” the Hollywood of Europe “.

They are different universes, but Moncloa looked for that thread between them, the future, the modernization of Spain, the dissemination of its culture, its science, its knowledge and its television and film industry to sew the second day of the president in America. The second step of an economic tour, not political , with which the Executive intends to attract American investment to shore up the recovery.

And if in New York the president focused on funds and asset managers , the main objective that led him to Los Angeles was the promotion of Spain in the face of large producers. The Government wants the country to become a great stage for the audiovisual industry , now expanding due to the boom in platforms (even more so with the pandemic).

The Executive also wants to take advantage of Brexit , since London has traditionally been, along with Hollywood, the favorite set for production companies. To make Spain a world reference pole within a sector that has seen its business opportunities grow and that can be strengthened in our country thanks to the help of European funds.

Sánchez met at Universal Studios in Los Angeles with representatives of the industry giants: Netflix, HBO-Warner, NBC Universal, Apple TV, Disney, Paramount or Amazon Studios. He detailed to them the plan ‘Spain,’ audiovisual hub ‘ , which he himself presented in March in Madrid and which seeks to increase Spain’s audiovisual production by 30% at the end of the 2021-2025 period, time in which a public investment of 1,603 million euros .

The representatives of the big companies in the sector appreciate the Government’s willingness and its “leadership”

“Spain has everything it needs from an administrative and tax incentive point of view, as well as all the possible landscapes and scenery to receive new projects and create new narratives. We aspire to be, if you allow me the comparison, the Hollywood of Europe ”, stressed the chief executive at the event-cocktail that followed the appointment, now open.

Before him, the executives of Universal (Donna Langley), Netflix (Bela Bajaria) or HBO (Jay Roewe), thanked the Spanish Executive for his willingness and his ” leadership .” They did not repair praise. Sánchez and his team were satisfied: the trip to the US, much more armed than the first tour that he undertook as soon as he arrived at Moncloa, was going well., for the good reception, they pointed out, of the Executive’s plans and for the deference that it was the president himself who led the dialogue with the sector.

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The Government is convinced that Spain has a clear growth potential, because in addition the production companies are looking for ” long-term bets “, of a “sufficient dimension” to satisfy the content they demand. Our country is the scene of powerful filming – in autumn the prequel to ‘Game of Thrones’ will be filmed and Wes Anderson chose Chinchón (Madrid) for his latest film – and of productions that have been around the world, such as’ La casa de papel ‘or’ Elite ‘, he recalled.

The Government offers, to begin with, tax incentives : throughout 2020 it modified the regulations that affect tax benefits applicable to audiovisual productions in Spain, ranking at the level of the most competitive countries in our environment.

But, as Sánchez and the director of the Moncloa Economic Office, Manuel de la Rocha , explained to the journalists on the flight from Los Angeles to San Francisco, the big players in the sector are much more interested in other issues, because they have no problems of money.

They are asking for ” training ” – that is, for Spain to have high-level specialists to avoid the displacement of its own people from the US – and for more bureaucracy and visas to be expedited . Quick permits for professionals have already been facilitated and work is under way on a ‘ fast-track visa’for workers in the sector that is tailored to their needs. And, as of this July 24, the employees of the American productions will be able to land in Spain without having to suffer the restrictions due to the covid pandemic.

The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, listens to the ‘chairman’ of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, Donna Langley, during the event ‘Spain, your location of choice’ at Universal Studios in Los Angeles, this July 22.

Netflix was the first to settle in Spain. Now the platform, with which the Government has strengthened ties , is already underway to duplicate its Tres Cantos production center in Madrid. The Executive believes that other companies can follow in his footsteps. Spain gives them entry, they insist, into the Latin American market. “They are also interested in co-productions with RTVE. Ultimately, it is a world that is opening up,” Sánchez told the press on the official plane.

“Dream of pioneers”
That was already night. But first thing in the morning – six in the afternoon in Spain – the president visited NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena , in charge of robotic exploration of the Solar System. JPL was born in America in the 1930s, and was the one that built and launched the Perseverance and Curiosity rovers , and all the previous missions to Mars, although it also controls a large fleet of satellites that orbit the Earth and measure from the water level, soil moisture, carbon in the atmosphere or the health of vegetation.

Pasadena is connected with Spain – specifically, with the international station of Robledo de Chavela, in Madrid – and Australia. The three sites are antennas triangulate outer space. Spain collaborates with NASA through scientific and technological institutions and organizations such as the CSIC, the INTA, and the CDTI and through a group of Spanish companies. And parts of the unmanned vehicles have been manufactured in Spain.

About twenty Spanish scientists and researchers work at NASA’s JPL, in charge of robotic exploration of the Solar System and, specifically, of Mars

Sánchez wanted to underline this link in his visit to the JPL facilities, accompanied by the mayor of Los Angeles – and appointed by Joe Biden as future ambassador to India – Eric Garcetti, and Minister Reyes Maroto . The president toured the center with a group of Spanish scientists, and received explanations from its deputy director, Larry James. He stopped in the so-called Dark Room – Dark Room , the ‘hub’ from which the three space stations are controlled – and posed next to a replica of the Perseverance robot .

The Government wants to give “continuity and impetus to the current collaboration with NASA,” it intends for Spain to extend its collaboration “to future missions of the US aerospace agency”In fact, one of the strategic projects for economic recovery and transformation ( Perte ) that the Executive is preparing focuses on the aerospace industry, as Sánchez and De la Rocha later reported.

“The ultimate goal is the scientific and technological advancement of humanity, and it is achieved in many ways. And one of them, and one in potential, is the robotic exploration of the Solar System, which is the mission of JPL, and in particular the of Mars. It brings us closer to that pioneer dream that would be to get to set foot on Mars, “the Catalan engineer Marc Costa Sitja explained to the media .

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He is one of the twenty Spanish researchers and scientists who work at JPL, out of a total workforce of about 6,000 employees. Like José Siles , chief engineer of the Asthros mission, born in Baeza (Jaén) 40 years ago (eleven has already been in the agency), who was passionate about “teamwork” at NASA, and who is now in charge of developing the radio telescope that will be launched from Antarctica in December 2023.

It is also a member of the Spanish group Mar Vaquero, 36 (eight at JPL) aeronautical and physical engineer and master’s degree in aerospace engineering, born in Gran Canaria, who led the Cassini probe to its end, when it crashed on Saturn in 2017 after 20 years of mission. Or María de Soria-Santacruz, an engineer who studied Aeronautics in Barcelona and later studied her doctorate at MIT and postgraduate studies at UCLA. He is 35 years old and entered NASA at 29.

“Spain can be a leader in science, ” José Siles pointed out to this newspaper. “The proof is the people who are working here. I studied at a public university [the Polytechnic of Madrid], I did my doctorate in Spain. Engineers trained in Spain have nothing to envy those from other countries.” “No longer afraid of it, you have to keep your eyes on the front,” encouraged Mar Vaquero.

The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, during his visit to the NASA JPL facilities, in Pasadena, California, this July 22.

Sánchez’s second stop. The University of California at Los Angeles ( UCLA ). The president presided over an act for the diffusion of Spanish, “the most alive language in the world”, of a “formidable wealth”.

Last week the Council of Ministers approved the creation of a headquarters for the Instituto Cervantes in Los Angeles, which may open its doors in about two years – Spain is negotiating the location with the mayor of the city – and which will not be “just another center” , since its intention is to become a ” house of the HispanicAnd it is that Spanish, as Sánchez recalled, but also the director of Cervantes, the poet Luis García Montero, is the second most widely spoken mother tongue in the world, after Mandarin Chinese, and the second language of international communication, only surpassed English.

There are 490 million native speakers (585 if those who study it are added), and it is the second most widely spoken language in the US, with 60 million people . It is also estimated that by 2060 the US will be the second country Spanish-speaking world, after Mexico, and that 27.5% of the country’s population will be of Hispanic origin.

Spanish, Sánchez emphasizes, is the “language of progress, modernity, future and entrepreneurship”, of “science” and “technology”, and the best “commercial, freedom and cultural ambassador of the country”

Spanish has a “very clear” role in the state of California and Los Angeles. “Defending Spanish means giving it prestige as a language of culture , science and technological transformation, a source of pride for its people,” said García Montero, who insisted on its “open”, inclusive identity.

His speech connected with that of the president. Spanish, Sánchez stressed, is the “language of progress, modernity, future and entrepreneurship”, of “science” and “technology”, and the best “commercial, freedom and cultural ambassador of the country.”

The language “and the cultures associated with it” are a “shared heritage on both sides of the Atlantic”, “”He maintained. Because Spanish, in California and in the US, he stressed,” has ceased to be a foreign language to be a native language. And it is a language that “miscegenation suits him well.” For the Cabinet he presides over , he added, Spanish is a “strategic bet”, “decided”.

At UCLA, in addition to its rector, Gene Block, the Hispanicist and university professor Barbara Fuchs , the first Ñ Prize from the Cervantes Institute , who will present the King at the next meeting of the Board of Trustees, in the fall. Spanish, he said, represents both the “home language” of Hispanics and the research language in California, but it still remains a ” discriminated ” language .

That is why he believes that classical theater must also be disseminated. Just as people talk about Shakespeare they talk about Lope de Vega. Look back, to also look forward.

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