National Opera did not receive wage compensation support

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Director of Estonia National Opera Ott Maaten. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

The Unemployment Insurance Fund rejected the Estonia National Opera's application for wage compensation during the pandemic damage because the opera is not on the list of subsidy receivers. The Ministry of Culture promised that the National Opera will not be left without help.

The National Opera Estonia wants to apply compensation for its losses last year. The head of the National Opera Ott Maaten said that the sum is around €300,000.

The National Opera turned to the Unemployment Insurance Fund because the measure there is larger than in the Ministry of Culture and would have enabled it to receive €160,000. However, the fund rejected the application.

"It turned out that it doesn't qualify. The compensation is paid to a company, a foreign company's branch, a non-profit organization, a foundation or a self-employed person. The fund said that is based on the regulations of November 2020. But the National Opera, unfortunately, is a legal person governed by public law and that's why it is not on the list," Maaten said.

The Ministry of Culture's undersecretary of arts Taaniel Raudsepp promised that the National Opera won't be left without help.

"The National Opera can turn to us in multiple ways. One aspect is that it is a public organization finances by the state, there are specific channels for it. Secondly, we have the same culture organizers' measure. And these are the two ways we can help the National Opera," Raudsepp said.

Raudsepp said that in addition to emergency assistance, the National Opera also receives operating support and the ministry bases the funding on the organization's cash flow situation. Similarly, the ministry also supports other theaters in Tallinn, which have been closed at the beginning of the year due to the coronavirus measures.

"Aid is not given for the loss of income. Aid is given to ensure sustainable operating. There are several approaches here, one of which is the application rounds, which are open at the Ministry of Culture until February 17," Raudsepp said.

1,546 companies have submitted wage support applications to the Unemployment Insurance Fund, the support has been paid of €15.6 million.

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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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