Disqualifying Romania from Eurovision is an extreme measure that was taken by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) due to the fact that since 2013 no solution has been found to solve the issue of Romanian public TV station’s (TVR) historical debts to the European forum, said EBU Director General Ingrid Deltenre, as quoted in a release of the Ministry of Public Finance sent on Friday to Agerpres.
Ingrid Deltenre says that the debts that the public television station has to the European forum are historical and the problems are systemic. “It is regrettable that an extreme measure was needed – disqualifying Romania from the Eurovision – to draw Romanian authorities’ attention,” said Ingrid Deltenre.
She said that it is her third visit to Romania since February 2013 and, because no solution has been found, the EBU has taken this unique measure in the history of the European forum.
In turn, Chairman of the Senate’s Committee on Culture, Art and Media Georgica Severin pleaded for changing the law, considered outdated, as solution to solving TVR problems in medium and long term.
Head of the EBU Legal Department, Jane Vizard, drew attention to the fact that at the moment the TVR status as member of the European Broadcasting Union is in danger. According to her, a possible exclusion from EBU means loss of broadcasting rights for several international sports competitions such as the 2018 and 2022 World Football Championships but also access to foreign news flow.
Public Finance Minister Anca Dragu explained that Parliament is the forum responsible for the public television station. Therefore, representatives of the Ministry of Public Finance organized a meeting between members of Parliament, representatives of the Competition Council, the TVR and of the EBU to discuss the TVR situation.
“Taking into account the seriousness of the situation, we found it necessary to organize this meeting with all parties involved to find a solution in order to avoid a new sanction and I am speaking about the possibility for TVR to be excluded from the EBU,” said Anca Dragu.
The release also states that representatives of the Finance Ministry, together with those of the Competition Council and EBU will remain in contact, will exchange information and seek jointly solutions within the legal framework.
The European Broadcasting Union – the world’s largest association of public broadcasters – announced on April 22 having taken steps to withdraw the membership of TVR over failure to pay accrued debts worth 16 million Swiss francs (14.5 million euro). Consequently, TVR will not participate in the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest, which will take place in May, the website eurovision.tv announced last month.
The Ministry of Finance said on April 22 that authorities were analyzing several variants for the reorganization of the Romanian Television Corporation so that it could be supported by the state in compliance with state aid legislation.
Ovidiu Anton performs his Eurovision-intended act in Bucharest historic centre to several dozen-strong audience
Ovidiu Anton, the singer who was supposed to represent Romanian in the Eurovision song contest, performed his act “Moment of Silence” this Friday in the Bucharest historic center before dozens of fans whom he thanked for supporting him, assuring them that he keeps hope alive and will fight “to the last moment.”
“Good evening friends!” Anton greeted the crowd with a signature address of Romanian rock legend Cristi Minculescu, and then went on to sing “Moment of Silence.” The performance drew prolonged applause from the spectators. “We should have been in Stockholm today. I am very happy about your support, I am happy about the solidarity you showed, because that’s what my song, ‘Moment of Silence,’ is about. Today, for you, for Romania, for the Romanians everywhere, here it is, the ‘Moment of Silence’,” Anton said.
Also present in the public were Romania’s former representatives to the Eurovision contest Calin Goia and Zoli Toth – the latter also having sat on the jury of the National Selection this year.
“I want to thank you for coming here, I want to thank all of you who signed the online petition, who stood by our and Romania’s side in this battle. We hope until the last moment and fight to the end,” the artist said at the end of the song.
”Moment of Silence’ is about being united, being just, being dignified, because no matter how strong we are, together we are even stronger,” concluded Ovidiu Anton.
The show continued with a symbolic march to the Stockholm Street of Bucharest.
Ovidiu Anton’s show was organized on the day when European Broadcasting Union (EBU) Director General Ingrid Deltenre was visiting Bucharest to discuss with the authorities Romania’s exclusion from the Eurovision contest.