Last month it seemed like FYR Macedonia would be forced to sit out Eurovision 2018, as the EBU had removed MRT‘s access to member services following debt issues. But now it seems that the way has been cleared for FYR Macedonia to compete in Eurovision 2018 — if they choose to do so.
According to a statement made by the broadcaster and published by Eurovoix, Macedonian Radio-Television has come to an agreement with the European Broadcasting Union.
After racking up debt mostly due to the purchase of rights to high-profile sports events, the EBU had suspended MRT’s membership services — which includes the right to compete at the Eurovision Song Contest.
However, in MRT’s statement, they confirmed that these services had been reinstated:
“A meeting was held [between MRT and the EBU] at the highest level, where it was decided to abolish all sanctions against MRT and all the services provided by the EBU are available on the Macedonian Radio Television again.”
This clears the way for FYR Macedonia to compete at Eurovision 2018. However, the broadcaster has still not confirmed if they will go to Lisbon.
MRT has previously listed the Eurovision 2018 broadcast in its 2018 line-up, but the broadcaster has not said if this will be as a competing country or merely as spectators.
But fans are still hopeful that FYR Macedonia will be part of Eurovision 2018. Last month host broadcaster RTP revealed that 43 countries would compete in Eurovision 2018. While these countries were not named, it was generally assumed that FYR Macedonia was on the list.
A happier outcome
It seems to have resulted in a happier outcome than Romania’s situation in 2016.
In April 2016, just weeks before Eurovision, the European Broadcasting Union confirmed that it had withdrawn member services from Romanian public service broadcaster Televiziunea Romana (TVR) over unpaid debts.
That meant that Ovidiu Anton — who had spent weeks travelling Europe as part of his promotional campaign for Eurovision — could not compete in the contest.
However, TVR eventually sorted out their financial issues and was welcomed back to the Eurovision family. Their return act Ilinca ft. Alex Florea placed seventh in the grand final with “Yodel It!”.
FYR Macedonia may be hoping for a Eurovision comeback with a similar result. In the past decade, the Balkan national has only qualified for the grand final once.
What do you think? Would you like to see FYR Macedonia return to Eurovision 2018? Who should they send? Sound off below!