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Budget troubles for Salzburg Festival

The budget for the Salzburg Festival 2013 is once again hotly debated: although 60 million Euros were planned, 65.3 million Euros will be needed. The member of the board of trustees and mayor Heinz Schaden (SPÖ) is unwilling to accept that.

The debate had started already last year. Alexander Pereira, the director of the festival demanded 65 million Euros in order to finance his extensive programme. He threatened to resign if his conditions were not fulfilled. The board of trustees then approved 60 million Euros.

A report of internal revision shows that the budget goal will, however, exceed by 5.3 million Euros.

Heinz Schaden is annoyed about the change of plans: "All trustees expect that decisions of the board of trustees are accepted. It is, after all, the supervisory board of the Festival. As the Festival is the sign for Salzburg, one cannot say: let’s put another five million Euros on top. The budget has been increased significantly in the last few years. We have to demand a certain discipline, otherwise we will not fulfil our responsibility."

Helga Rabl-Stadler, the president of the Salzburg Festival, points to an increase in donations and revenues from the ticket sales, which would benefit the budget.

Ms Rabl-Stadler hopes that holes in the budget of 2013 can be avoided: "We have proposals of covering the holes. Additionally, the ticket sales are going really well", she said.

According to Mr Schaden, it is, however, necessary to count every penny: "It is not acceptable to exceed the budget by more than five million Euros, especially in regards to the following years", the mayor said.

There are rumours that director Alexander Pereira will leave the Salzburg Festival and go to Milan.

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