Romania: Government to pay off TVR’s debt to EBU

There were tears in Bucharest last April when Romania’s TVR was expelled from the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) — and as a result, Eurovision — due to unpaid debts. But now there’s hope on the horizon, with news that the Romanian government is about to step in. The country’s lawmakers are on the verge of amending legislation to allow them to cover TVR’s 17-million Swiss francs debt to the EBU using the state budget.

Back in the spring, when TVR was excluded from the EBU the government announced that it lacked the legal means to help the Romanian broadcaster on such short notice. However, faced with the prospect of a summer without the European Championship and the Olympic Games and with mounting pressure from the public to assist TVR, the Romanian administration has decided to change the law. They will now be able to legally withdraw funds from the state budget. According to profit.ro, the legislation will be modified by emergency ordinance. It will be too late for this year’s major sports events, but the government hopes that this way TVR will be re-admitted to the EBU and that it will be able to broadcast the FIFA World Cup in 2018 and 2022.

Until now, the law has only allowed the government to assist TVR where development expenses were concerned, as well as equipment purchases, maintaining the broadcast, and guarding the institution. From now on, public money will be used to pay off the 17-million Swiss francs (€15.3 million), which effectively means that, at least in theory, TVR will be welcomed back to the EBU. In this case, it is likely that Romania will return to the Eurovision stage as early as next year.

However, it’s too late for Ovidiu Anton, the man who was due to represent Romania in Stockholm. He was denied the chance to perform his Selectia Nationala winning song “Moment of Silence”, just weeks before the contest.

What do you think about this new development? Are you ready to welcome Romania back to the contest after their moment of silence?

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