The Israeli newspaper Haaretz is reporting that the crisis surrounding Israel’s hosting of Eurovision 2019 has been resolved after the Israeli Government and national broadcaster reached an agreement.
Concerns about the 2019 contest emerged earlier this week when the head of the Israeli broadcaster, KAN, made an appeal to the Israeli Prime Minister for assistance in satisfying the EBU’s requirement for a €12 Million guarantee to be placed in a Swiss bank account to secure the contest. The deadline provided by the EBU for the funds to be deposited is today.
The Prime Minister, Benjamin Netenyahu threatened to shutdown the Israeli national broadcaster if it did not pay the guarantee on time. However, KAN argued that the Israeli state should pay for the guarantee as it would be forced to axe a number of staff and productions if it was required to meet the sum independently.
Now, according to Haaretz, KAN is expected to take out a $13.5-million loan to meet its financial liabilities to the EBU. In return, the Finance Ministry will commit to cover the loan amount if the competition is ultimately not held in Israel due to extenuating circumstances such as war or boycott.
However, it should be noted that the broadcaster has denied the existence of any such understanding when asked by Haaretz.
Israel won the right to host the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 after Netta was victorious in the 2018 edition in Lisbon, Portugal with the song Toy. This was Israel’s fourth victory in the history of the contest.