TVR the Romanian national broadcaster has been removed from the European Broadcasting Union.
The news means that TVR and Romania are now no longer able to compete in this years Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm, Sweden. Ovidiu Anton had been selected to represent the country on stage in Stockholm with the song “Moment of Silence”. It is the first time that a country has had their participation in the contest withdrawn due to financial issues at the broadcaster.
Ovidu Anton posted on his Facebook that:
I got finally official notification. I’m trying to smile and I don’t get carried away but… It’s unfair. I remain the same, same artist honestly, same fighter who won by split jury and and public decision… Even though, paradoxically, I must declare defeated. The who? Why? That’s right??? … I don’t know how to say it now so nice myself.
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.
TVR has held a debt against the EBU since 2007 which stands at 16 million Swiss Franc. TVR and the Romanian Government were given until yesterday to make a down payment of 10 million Swiss Francs on the debt however this did not occur and TVR has now been removed from the EBU.
The organisers of the contest added that as the official CD for the Eurovision Song Contest 2016, has already been produced the EBU has decided to keep the digital download of the song available for download and streaming, as a courtesy to the artist. Furthermore press from Romania will still be able to attend as well as fans who bought tickets for the event from Romania.
Watch a video from the EBU explaining the decision behind TVR’s removal below: