Spanish Eurovision singer urged to go for 'nul point'
MADRID - Agence France-Presse
Spain pop singer Pastora Soler (C) performs during a rehearsal for the Eurovision 2012 song contest in the Azerbaijan's capital Baku. AFP photoSpanish public television directors urged the country's Eurovision Song Contest entry not to win this weekend's event because they would not be able to afford to stage it next year if she did.
Under the rules of the contest, the public broadcaster of the nation that wins the event plays host to the competition the following year.
Pastora Soler, who will represent Spain on Saturday in Baku with her ballad "Quedate Conmigo" ("Stay With Me"), said that when she met directors from broadcaster TVE, they joked: "Please, don't win!" "I think it is not the moment, neither for Spain nor for Spanish public to win Eurovision. If we won, I think it would be impossible to stage the next edition because it costs so much money," she told ABC Punto Radio.
Spain's conservative government has slashed spending and raised taxes to reduce the nation's public deficit to within a European Union limit of 3.0 percent of gross domestic product in 2013 from 8.9 percent last year.
The first semi-final
of the Eurovision Song
The spending cuts have affected all areas, including public television TV which has been forced to cancel several popular television shows as a result.
The winner of the Eurovision contest - which began in 1956 as an elegant black-tie event - is selected by a jury and online and telephone votes from viewers.
Mocked for its "bubblegum pop" and overtly political voting, the contest has been won twice by Spain, in 1968 with singer Massiel's song "La La La" and again the following year with singer Salome's "Vivo Cantando".
The event boasts a television audience estimated at around 125 million people each year.