Three weeks before Eurovision 2016: Romania kicked out of the show
The 2016 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest is just weeks away, with stand-in rehearsals scheduled to start next week.
But now, the EBU has taken the drastic action of removing Romania from the show. Ovidiu Anton will not perform in Stockholm.
TVR’s debt the cause
According to the EBU statement, Romania’s national broadcaster TVR has failed to pay their debts to the EBU following a deadline set for April 20. The broadcaster owes the EBU 16 million Swiss Francs, or about 14,5 million Euros.
In recent years, rumors have flourished about a possible Romanian non-participation in the contest due to TVR’s financial troubles. But today, it has become a reality.
No response from the Romanian government
The failure to pay not only results in Romania being removed, and losing the right to broadcast the Eurovision Song Contest, but also means the country will not have access to any Eurovision network services. They include Eurovision News and Sports News Exchanges, with specific sporting events.
“It is regrettable that we are forced to take this action. We are disappointed that all our attempts to resolve this matter have received no response from the Romanian government. In recent weeks the EBU has taken note of the Ministry of Finance’s suggestion that TVR may be placed into insolvency proceedings which may in turn lead to a profound restructuring of the broadcaster. The EBU is a not-for-profit association which represents 73 Public Service Broadcasters in 56 countries. The continued indebtedness of TVR jeopardizes the financial stability of the EBU itself,” said the Director General of the EBU, Ingrid Deltenre.
Running order remains
Ovidiu Anton won the Romanian selection back in March with his song “Moment of Silence” and has been preparing for his semi-final performance in Stockholm. His spot in the show will now be removed, and the running order will remain the same.
“We think it’s unfortunate. We have been looking forward to welcoming the Romanian delegation to Stockholm. Now we are adjusting the rehearsal schedule and the starting order for the second Semi-Final and continue our work with the production of the 42 participating countries,” said Martin Österdahl, Executive Producers of this year’s contest.
The removal does not affect already approved accreditations from Romania, fans and press will simply be moved to the international delegation. Romania will also remain on the CD, which has already been produced, and on the iTunes album, as a courtesy to Ovidiu.
Jon Ola Sand statement:
Photo: Ioana Chiriță ©TVR