Eurovision 2019: Are funding issues becoming a threat to the Israeli hosting?

Eurovision 2019: Are funding issues becoming a threat to the Israeli hosting?

Further developments concerning Israel’s hosting of next year’s Eurovision Song Contest seem to be bringing up new troubling aspects in the case.

Firstly the were new statements of a minister of Netanyahu’s government in Malta , ruling out Jerusalem as the next host city due to lack of financial sources and facilities and implying Tel Aviv eventually as the most appropriate city.  On the other hand the national broadcaster has warned the government that in case the 12 million euro guarantee isn’t deposited on time the whole hosting is in jeopardy.

What about Jerusalem?

The Israeli minister Michael Oren who recently visited Malta , during an interview on national broadcaster TVM, the Eurovision topic came up and received a couple of questions. The Israeli minister elaborated on the subject by stating that there are three cities in the race for hosting the next Eurovision, with Tel Aviv being the most likely one. Further on he mentioned that Jerusalem lacks of basic facilities and financial sources which are required for such a big event as the Eurovision Song Contest. In addition he outlined that in the case of Tel Aviv, the challenges related to the Saturday holiday and Palestinians and what the city of Jerusalem represents for both nations, are out of the picture.

KAN’s warnings to the government.

In order for all the above to take place , first condition to be fulfilled is the national broadcaster to deposit the amount of  12 million euro as a guarantee for EBU. The same condition was asked from the Ukrainian broadcaster but not for the Portuguese broadcaster last year. This kind of conditions are put when serious factors endanger the smooth hosting of the contest, forcing even for a change of host country the last moment.

The Israeli broadcaster itself revealed to the  The Times Of Israel, that it hasn’t deposited the amount for EBU’s guarantee which is a condition for hosting next year’s contest. The reason for this is the fact that the government hasn’t approved yet further subsidy for this purpose.

ΚΑΝ sent a letter to the cabinet mentioning that in case the government budget for the channel doesn’t increase, the broadcaster has no way of covering the amount. So far PM Benjamin Netanyahu has denied to reinforce KAN’s budget with further funds, asking them to deposit the 12 million euro from the total amount of 165 million euro that are already approved on the annual budget. This is rejected by the broadcaster declaring no capacity for such option, while they reject the chance of a loan, the telecommunications minister proposed.

Despite these latest developments and ongoing statements , neither side, KAN or EBU have confirmed a potential of moving the contest to another country. However time is flying and in five days the deadline for the guarantee is expiring , to see what is eventually going to happen.

Angelo D.

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