Four countries turn down Eurovision amid crisis

Agence France Presse
December 21, 2012 Friday 4:43 PM GMT

Four countries turn down Eurovision amid crisis

STOCKHOLM, Dec 21 2012

Four countries including debt-burdened Portugal will abstain from next
year’s Eurovision Song Contest, but crisis-hit Greece will be taking
part, the event’s organisers 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 neighbouring 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 organisers were constantly “seeking ways to
cut costs for both participating broadcasters as well as the host