Molina new Spanish culture minister


MADRID -- Spanish literary luminary Cesar Antonio Molina will replace Carmen Calvo as the nation's culture minister as part of the socialist government's restructuring a year ahead of general elections, authorities said Friday.

Molina is credited with the international growth and increased prominence of the Cervantes Institute, a state-owned agency dedicated to encouraging the use of Spanish abroad and advancing Spanish and Hispanic cultures in non-Spanish-speaking countries.

Before that, Molina headed Spain's Fine Arts School, where he revamped the facilities into one of the country's main cultural references during his eight-year stint.

"I am going to do what I have always done, all my life and in all the posts of responsibility I have held," Molina told journalists in front of the Madrid headquarters of the Cervantes Institute. "And that is to work nonstop, in an imaginative way, with tremendous enthusiasm and collaborating with everyone in the culture world."

Spain's film industry reacted immediately to the news, with producers lobby FAPAE congratulating Molina, whom it called "an expert and lover not only of the Spanish audiovisual industry, but of all the culture of our country."

"He (Molina) has shown again and again his capacity for management in the cultural industries as the head of the Cervantes Institute, especially with respect to promoting culture abroad," FAPAE president Pedro Perez said in a statement.

FAPAE also thanked outgoing minister Calvo, who was responsible for cobbling together the controversial Film Law set to be approved this year in parliament, which offers producers 18% tax breaks on their investments.