FYR Macedonia’s Eurovision 2018 participation has been blocked by the EBU.
Last week it was reported that the EBU would impose sanctions on Macedonian broadcaster MRT due to outstanding debt. Now it has been reported by ESCToday that Macedonia’s Eurovision 2018 participation has been blocked by the EBU. The following statement is from the EBU:
“As a result of non-payment of debt, FYROM’s public service broadcaster Macedonian Radio Television (MRT) currently does not have access to the EBU’s 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. MRT will also not participate in the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest as things stand but will continue to take part in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in November.”
As of this moment, Macedonia are allowed to take part in the upcoming Junior Eurovision Song Contest, that will take place in late November. If the broadcaster were to settle the debt in time, the country will be able to take place in the Eurovision Song Contest next year in Lisbon, but as it stands the country may not be present.
MRT currently finds itself in a similar situation that TVR, the Romanian national broadcaster, was in back in 2016. The broadcaster was forced to withdraw from that year’s Eurovision Song Contest after failing to pay debts 16 million Swiss francs to the EBU, which lead to a withdrawal from all EBU services. This was after they had selected Ovidiu Anton to sing “Moment of Silence” in Stockholm.
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FYR Macedonia has had a string of poor results in recent years failing to reach the final every year since 2012. The country debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1998, however, two years earlier they attempted to participate but was knocked out in the pre-qualifying round. In 2016 they were represented by Kaliopi for a second time with the song “Dona”, she missed out on the final finishing in 11th in her semi-final. FYR Macedonia’s best result to date is a 12th place finish in the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest represented by Elena Risteska and the song “Ninanajna”.