SWITZERLAND – Following today’s developments about financing the bank guarantee and the budget of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest, EBU issued a first statement on the story. Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said on Monday that the Israel Public Broadcasting Corporation (IPBC or “Kan” in Hebrew) would make a “grave mistake” if it gives up on hosting the Eurovision Song Contest because of its refusal to transfer 12 million euro as a guarantee to the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).
The IPBC issued an immediate statement addressing Kahlon’s remarks. “We have been saying all along that the IPBC is unable to foot the bill of the production cost. If the government decides to finance it, the Eurovision will be held in Israel. The IPBC once again urges the decision makers to sit down and reach an agreement over budget with the treasury,” read the official statement. There is no reason for intervention … They need to do what everyone else does, what’s the story here? Suspect my commitment? I almost broke up the coalition and put my political career on the line in order for IPBC to be established … The only politicians in this story are the IPBC people. Whether the Eurovision will be held in Israel depends only on the IPBC, and there is no one stopping them. If the IPBC does not want to host it, the Eurovision will not happen,” he emphasized.
This afternoon the EBU issued a statement
“The EBU is working closely with KAN ahead of tomorrow’s deadline, on advancing arrangements for next year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Israel. Every year financial guarantees must be made to the EBU before plans are put in place and the host city for the Eurovision Song Contest is announced. If a situation ever arose in which a broadcaster could not fulfil their requirements there are always contingency plans in place, as is normal when planning such a large event with many international stakeholders.”