Romania – Awful news this morning as the EBU has released a statement saying they will not allow Romania to take part in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. This is due to the failure of TVR to make an instalment payment towards the £10m debt by April 20th.
Despite the rumours, no-one really believed the EBU would take such drastic action with less than three weeks to go until rehearsals, but today EBU Director General Ingrid Deltenre said:
“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.”
The EBU regards the Romanian State as legally obliged to underwrite TVR’s debt which goes back as far as January 2007.
Since 2010 numerous attempts have been made to restructure the debt owed and payment plans agreed that have not been adhered to. The EBU has written to the Romanian government on four separate occasions this year alone and received no reply.
In a final letter to the Finance Minister of Romania Anca Dragu sent on 15 April the EBU requested a down payment of CHF 10 million to be received in the EBU´s bank account by close of business on Wednesday 20 April 2016. The Union also asked to receive an unconditional and irrevocable bank guarantee for the remaining CHF 6 million, supported by a payment plan by the end of the year.
The deadline was extended until Thursday 21 April but no payment was made.
TVR will now no longer be able to participate in the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest and will lose access to other EBU member services including the Eurovision News and Sports News Exchanges, the right to broadcast specific sporting events, legal, technical and research expertise and lobbying services.
Eurovision Times is absolutely gutted for Ovi and his team. He has tried several times to get to ESC and was a larger than life character who would have been a brilliant addition to the show and Eurovision family. We hope Romania come back stronger and Ovi tries again.