Countries turn down Eurovision
STOCKHOLM - Agence France-PresseFour countries including Turkey and debt-burdened Portugal will abstain from next year’s Eurovision Song Contest, but crisis-hit Greece will be taking part, the event’s organizers said on Friday.
Bosnia-Herzegovina, Portugal, Slovakia and Turkey have all said they will not be participating in the contest, which is to be held in the Swedish city of Malmoe from May 14 to 18 next year.
The first three cited “economic reasons” for abstaining, while Turkey opposed changes to the competition’s rules, according to a statement by Eurovision, the media content distributor that is operated by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).
Armenia will return to the contest after security concerns stopped it from sending a delegation to neighboring Azerbaijan in 2012.
Greece’s ERT is among the 39 national broadcasters that have signed up for next year’s event despite the country suffering acutely from an economic crisis, which had prompted speculation that budget cuts would prevent it from coming this year.
The EBU said it was “sensitive to the economic pressures facing its members” and that contest organizers were constantly “seeking ways to cut costs for both participating broadcasters as well as the host broadcaster.”