Ahead of the recent Greek bailout, Berlin insisted that Athens undertake severe austerity measures. Now, as Germany gears up to host Eurovision 2011, its tough line on spending may make Eurovision fans suffer, too.
In a personal letter to the head of NDR, Germany’s state broadcaster, parliamentarian Hans-Joachim Otto has requested that Eurovision’s organizers keep their spending in check. “It doesn’t always have to be bigger, brighter, more pompous, and above all more expensive,” he wrote. Otto, who also serves as state secretary in the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, went on to argue that Frankfurt is the “cheap and obvious” location for the event because of its busy airport. He failed to mention that Frankfurt is also his home constituency…
Fortunately, Lutz Mamor, Director-General of the NDR, has no intentions of taking the glitz and glam out of the event. He believes the 24 million euros that Norwegian officials spent on the event last month is more than enough to stage the contest—and provide the pyrotechnics, oversized LED screens and wind machines that Eurovision viewers now expect. “Even small countries have been able to deliver great shows in recent years and Germany should be as good a host as they were for Europe,” he said.
Wiwi’s friends at the Eurovision Times are running a poll. Let your voice be heard, Europe! Let’s keep the euro in Eurovision!