Romania will not be allowed to participate in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, after national broadcaster TVR failed to pay debts to the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) totalling CHF 16 million (approx. US$16.4 million).
As a result of the non-payment of debts, the EBU has withdrawn member services from TVR, meaning that the broadcaster will now be prohibited from participating in the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest and will lose access to other EBU member services, such as the Eurovision News and Sports News Exchanges and the right to broadcast specific events, including Eurovision. The EBU made the decision after the deadline given to the Romanian government to make arrangements to repay the debt passed on Wednesday.
“It is regrettable that we are forced to take this action. We are disappointed that all our attempts to resolve this matter have received no response from the Romanian government,” EBU Director General Ingrid Deltenre stated.
Ovidiu Anton had been due to represent Romania in Stockholm with the song Moment of Silence.
“This is of course disappointing for the artist chosen to represent Romania, for our colleagues at TVR who have prepared their participation so well this year and, not least, for Romanian viewers and the many Eurovision fans in the country,” said Jon Ola Sand, Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of the EBU.
The 2016 Eurovision Song Contest will take place in Stockholm on 10, 12 (semi-finals) and 14 (final) May.