On July 31, the EBU agreed to KAN‘s request and extended the deadline to submit the €12 million security deposit to host Eurovision 2019 until August 14. This extension was given to allow KAN and the Israeli government to come to an agreement regarding the funding of the competition. As we reported earlier in the week, the dispute was almost resolved after a positive meeting between KAN and the government in which budget issues were discussed.
But now it seems that the crisis is far from being settled. On the contrary, it is escalating as the government still refuses to pay the deposit, claiming that KAN has enough in its budget to cover the deposit.
The new episode in this endless drama started earlier today after KAN had sent another letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In the letter, they warned that unless the government pays the deposit by the deadline, KAN would have no choice but to inform the EBU that it waives its right to host Eurovision 2019. KAN’s CEO, Mr Gil Omer, wrote:
“After 14 August 2018, there will be no going back as this is a critical point after which Eurovision 2019 will not be able to take place in Israel”.
Omer added, that during the last two weeks, KAN has invested tremendous efforts to convince the state to help with the funding of the contest stressing the importance of hosting an international event such as Eurovision in Israel. But unfortunately, the state remains reluctant to cooperate thus resulting in this unfortunate situation.
As Ynet reports, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has earlier today responded to KAN’s “warning” saying that both himself the minister of finance “decided that a body with a budget of 750 million NIS from public funds, can find the resources to host the contest.”
The escalation has also been reported in Israel main news channels – Keshet and Reshet (Channels 12 and 13) covered the story in their 8pm editions. PM Netanyahu had been unofficially quoted saying that “KAN is playing chicken with the government and its intentions are simply to sabotage the event”.
Nothing describes this awkward situation better than Israeli news reporter, Keren Marziano, saying that “it is hard to believe how within three months the euphoria of winning, the contest has turned into such a mess”.
There is a speculation that the EBU has another country lined up to host should Israel not be able to do it. However, this has not been publicly confirmed.
What do you think? Is just another brinkmanship game? Or is it serious this time? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
A day before the deadline to submit the €12 million ($14m) security deposit to host Eurovision 2019, the EBU has given KAN an extension. As Israel’s Maariv newspaper reports, the Geneva-based body is now giving KAN until August 14 to come up with the funds — and to negotiate the guarantee that was offered by the state in lieu of security funds. In their response to KAN’s request for an extension, the EBU has indicated that the “process is critical” — implying perhaps that no more extensions will be given. In an urgent letter dated July 30, and that was addressed to Minister of Communication Ayoob Kara, KAN’s CEO Gil Omer stated that KAN will not be able to produce Eurovision without the guarantee. #eurovisionsongcontest #eurovision2019 #eurovision #esc2019