An audit of PBS and the Malta Tourism Authority’s spending on Eurovision 2021 found no irregularities.
Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister Carmelo Abela has confirmed to The Malta Independent that an audit into spending on Malta’s Eurovision 2021 entry found no irregularities. It had been reported following the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 that the Malta Tourism Authority and PBS had gone over budget in their spending and that money had been spent on manipulating betting odds.
According to Carmelo Abela the audit found that money had not been spent on lowering the betting odds to make Malta appear to be a favourite to win the competition. Furthermore:
“The audit found that both the MTA and PBS worked within their own respective procurement regulations,”
It was also confirmed that the report will not be released in full as there are restrictions on publication by those who wrote it. The Time of Malta reported in May that in total €650,000 had been spent on the Maltese entry split between PBS and the Malta Tourism Authority.
Image Source: EBU / Thomas Hanses | Source: The Malta Independent
Malta debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1971 and was represented by Joe Grech and the song “Marija L-Maltija”, which finished last. Malta competed again in 1972 and 1975 but then withdrew until their return in 1991. During the 1990s Malta only once finished outside of the top 10, and in 1998 they came within just 7 points of victory. It was Chiara who brought the country their 3rd place finish in 1998, and who went on to finish in 2nd at the 2005 contest in Kyiv. The only other artist to finish 2nd for Malta is Ira Losco, who was 12 points away from victory in 2002. They are the longest participating country never to have won the Eurovision Song Contest.