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Eurovision 2017: the latest developments from Kyiv

UKRAINE – Today a working meeting took place in the IEC in Kyiv. Eurovision team discussed the issues of the venue and the technical aspects of the production show, the accreditation area, press centre and general arrangements in the working space, along with security issues. The meeting was attended by Deputy Head of the UA:PBC Pavlo Hrytsak, show producer of the Eurovision 2017 Stuart Barlow, Production Director Ola Melzig, Arena manager Olexander Karjakin and other Ukrainian and foreign experts.

But the turmoil from yesterday’s news of the Eurovision Executive Producers resignation hasn’t end yet. Following their usual tactics one more press conference took place yesterday explaining the situations. 21 people resigned from the Eurovision 2016 but the conflict issues were deeper.

Oleksandr Kharebin accuses the new Deputy Director General of the National Television Company of Ukraine Pavlo Hrytsak that he didn’t followed the decisions of the Eurovision team and made a new budget estimation for Eurovision 2017. He accuses the Pavlo for increasing the budget of Eurovision 2017 by 200 million UAH and added that he and the resigned team are happy to leave those people do their professional work (wow!)

“We really want the contest to take place in Ukraine. We have different approaches to strategy, tactics, transparency, cost transparency in the organization. Pavlo Hrytsak has his vision, Hanna Bychok – her own understanding of how to make a contest. Hrytsak has vast experience as he worked on “Eurovision” in 2005, 2009, 2013 respectively. We have no such experience, so we are happy to leave the project to those managers who will be able to responsibly and transparently prepare for the contest. Hrytsak did a new structure which virtually replaced us. We did not find understanding with a respect to transparency and costs”, said Oleksandr Kharebin. (source: esckaz.com)

Though, Hanna Bychok, responded to this saying that the budget for Eurovision 2017 remains 655 million UAH and claimed that there will be revenues from international and national sponsors plus the travellers to Kyiv. She calls the resigned people to reconsider and return to their posts saying that no official statement has been received to them although the web is full with the resignation letter photos all over. Oleksandr Kharebin strongly opposed possibility of his return to the Eurovision.

But Pavlo Hrytsak rejects Kharebin’s statements as hypocrisy: “If contracts have been developed by them, why they were not signed. We didn’t just developed contracts ourselves, we have developed mechanisms by which you can sign these contracts. At the same time Kharebin was repeatedly proposed to take the right of signature. He didn’t agree. Since it is dangerous in our country. Even 50 thousands UAH is a lot of money for the country. This is a huge responsibility, I’m also scared. But we are moving, we have an intensive project.” (source: esckaz.com)

In the meantime the Ukrainian national broadcaster launched tenders for preparation, installation, operation and dismantling of the structures from the spectator stands for the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 as of February 10th, due on February 20th (fast track procedures which means that emergency processes can lead to non transparent procedures). The construction of spectator stands at the International Exhibition Centre is scheduled for the period of the end of March – mid-April. This means that in the very end we might see 6,400 seated people in the audience and 1,570 standing fans making a total of 8,000 spectators (something like Vienna 2015).

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