FYROM 2018: What’s going on with FYROM’s participation?

FYROM 2018: What’s going on with FYROM’s participation?

Last week, in an official EBU announcement, we read that FYROM’s public television would not have access to the EBU’s services until it repaid its debt. Today, EBU published a new announcemnt where it states that FYROM will not participate in the Eurovision 2018 competition, if the current EBU debt  remains the same. In particular, the notice states:

As a result of the non-payment of the debt, MRT public service broadcaster currently does not have access to the services of EBU members, including news and sports youth exchanges, the right to broadcast specific sporting events, technical and research support. MRT will also not have the right to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest if things remain as they are but will take part in the Junior Eurovision 2017 competition in November.

According to the Meta news agency, MRT’s debt to the EBU is at least 500,000 euros, but it may be even higher as the total debt to domestic and foreign borrowers is estimated at around 22 million euros!

It seems that FYROM is in a very difficult position to participate in Eurovision 2018, in a similar situation that Romania had also been in 2016. Romania withdrew from the competition in 2016 (Ovidiu Anton – Moment of silence) due to TVR’s debts to the EBU, debts that existed since 2007! The following year, however, Romanian TV returned to the competition after a settlement of its debts with EBU. Will MRT  pay itsdebts or come to a settlement with  EBU? Will the number of participating countries for Eurovision 2018 fall to 42 and will be the first time since 2003 where FYROM will not participate in the competition?

Stefanos Charpantidis

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