Spain's top bullfighters are threatening to walk out of the ring for ever on May I this year if the taxation system on their earnings is not changed.
GV Plaza de Toros Madrid
SV Posters on wall
SCU Spectators (2 shots)
TV Bull PAN centre of arena
TV & SVs Picador rides into arena. Bull rams horses flanks, picador strikes with lance (3 shots)
GV Faena(passes with small cape)
SV Banderillero places banderillas
GV Banderillero places 3rd & 4th banderillas in bull
GV Crowd applaud
GV Matador thrusts sword into bull which turns & is drawn by 2nd matador
MV Spectators wave handkerchiefs
MLV Bull on knees
CU Spectators (2 shots)
MLV Bull on ground surrounded by bull-fighters
TV Horses drag bull's carcass away
Plaze de Toros, Madrid; spectators buying tickets; bull entering ring, ramming picador's horse; various cape passes; banderillero crowd; matador thrusting sword into bull; bull on knees, carcass dragged out by horse team.
Initials SGM/1600 SGM/1538
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Spain's top bullfighters are threatening to walk out of the ring for ever on May I this year if the taxation system on their earnings is not changed.
At the root of the problem is discontent over taxation on their previous year's earnings. Matadors say this can leave them with a tax bill larger than their earnings if they have an exceptionally good season -- and are then gored, or otherwise unable to fight, in the following year.
The bullfighters also claim that a 40 per cent tax deduction allowance for expenses is unrealistic compared to their real outlay each season.
The move comes at a time when many aficionados (fans) are questioning whether the spectacle is as artistically professional as it once was.
SYNOPSIS: For centuries, Madrid has been the centre of Spanish bullfighting -- and the career of many a matador has been decided at the plaza de Toros...
Today, the sport's in trouble. Many experts -- known as aficionados -- no longer attend the fights, claiming that the skills of some contemporary idols are showy and decadent. And there have been charges that the horns of some bulls are shaved to lessen the danger. Even so, many people say the old art form is cruel...that the picador's horses have no chance....and that less experienced matadors often mutilate the bull rather than kill it cleanly.
If the toreadors of today are attracted by glittering financial rewards, they mist still please the crowd -- and the impresarios who stage most of the fights throughout the country. And the art of the banderilleros and matadors continues to be a major tourist attraction.
Now, Spain's top matadors are threatening to go on strike over a taxation system based on their previous year's earning. If they're gored, this could mean a tax bill larger than their earnings the following year. The bullfighters also say a forty per cent allowance for expenses is unrealistic. And so far, there's no end to the dispute in sight.