Only 10 days before the rehearsals of Eurovision 2016 start in the Globen Arena in Stockholm, the EBU has forced Romania out of the competition, due to their debt towards the EBU!
TVR owes the EBU a total of 16 million CHF, and the Romanian government was given a deadline until the 20th of April (later extended by a single day) to make satisfactory arrangements to repay the debt. Ingrid Deltenre, the EBU Director General stated:
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. In recent weeks the EBU has taken note of the Ministry of Finance’s suggestion that TVR may be placed into insolvency proceedings which may in turn lead to a profound restructuring of the broadcaster. The EBU is a not-for-profit association which represents 73 Public Service Broadcasters in 56 countries. The continued indebtedness of TVR jeopardizes the financial stability of the EBU itself.
Apart from not participating now in the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest, TVR won’t be able to have access to Eurovision News and Sports News Exchanges, nor the right to broadcast specific sporting events, legal, technical and research expertise and lobbying services. Also, Romania will not receive the signal from Stockholm, and will be unable to broadcast any of the three shows of the Eurovision Song Contest 2016.
Ovidiu Anton was selected to represent Romania in this year’s edition of the Contest with his song “Moment of Silence”, and he was set to perform 12th in the second semi final, on the 12th of May. With Romania’s disqualification, the second semi final will now consist of 18 acts, same as the first semi final.