Another day, another twist in the Eurovision 2017 host city saga. On Tuesday the Director General of Ukraine’s broadcaster NTU, Zurab Alasania, revealed to the Interfax-Ukraine news agency that the decision now rests solely with two people. They happen to be the most important men in the country: President Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman.
Last week Ukrainian media reported that the decision would be announced on September 5. That didn’t happen and Mr. Alasania’s statement has thrown another curveball. Now he says that the only two men who know the answer are Pereshenko and Groysman. Indeed, Alasania stated that there’s “not a hint of a winner”. That means that Kyiv does seem to be in with a chance, despite the fact recent reports have suggested Odessa had this in the bag.
Mr. Alasania also said that he expects the decision to be made “by the beginning of next week”. This is due to a meeting between NTU and the EBU’s supervising committee next week in Berlin, where Ukraine’s decision will have to be presented. This is a marathon of Lithuanian NF proportions!
This latest statement will raise some eyebrows. Politically, Mr. Poroshenko is more closely aligned to Vitali Klitshcko, the Mayor of Kyiv, than he is Gennadiy Trukhanov, the Mayor of Odessa. Whilst you’d hope the decision would be made solely based on suitability, there is a possibility that politics could now play a big part. Calling the decision “political” certainly suggests that.
One positive that can be taken is that Mr. Groysman was indeed part of the initial selection committee established in July, which took an overview of the submitted bids. Therefore, the decisions reached through the committee should play a part in the decision.
As a reminder, here’s what EBU Executive Supervisor, Jon Ola Sand, had to say about what a host city needed:
What do you think about this latest statement from NTU’s Director General? Do you think that this will help one city over the other? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section!