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ESC 2019 | EBU still awaiting money guarantee from Israel

With no confirmed host city almost 3 months after their success in Lisbon, the Israeli Government are also still yet to pay the European Broadcasting Union a sum of 12 million Euros that is required as a guarantee bid to host.

Yedioth Ahronoth, an Israeli newspaper reported that the Head of KAN (the Israeli broadcaster) wrote to the Israeli Finance Minister with a warning that the Government are risking their status as a host country in next year's contest by not paying the guarantee bid.

In order to secure their right to host the contest, the EBU have asked KAN to provide €12 million in the event that Israel are unable to host and pull out of the event during preparation for the contest. With an estimated cost of €35 million, the EBU cannot go ahead with planning the contest when they cannot guarantee if Israel is prepared to host. They still cannot decide on a host city, not to mention still needing to transfer the 12 million. KAN are now requesting that the Ministry of Finance transfer the money to them before it is transferred forward to the EBU. The CEO of KAN explains:

"The first and most urgent milestone that requires treatment is the provision of a bank guarantee by August 1, at the request of the European Broadcasting Union. This is an extremely complex production, which takes a long time to prepare for. I hope that all the relevant parties will be recruited for this.". He also said, "I would like to emphasize that without the full support and funding of the Eurovision Song Contest, The Eurovision will not be able to exist in Israel".

The blame of the lack of fund transfers is now being thrown around between the Ministry of Finance and the Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. While the Finance Ministry blames Netanyahu for funds not being transferred, the Prime Minister's office claims it's the Finance Ministry's responsibility to handle the situation.

The search for a host city is still underway, so there is still a slight glimpse of promise that Israel will remain as the host country. In addition to this, key production positions are currently being filled in preparation for the contest.

What do you think? Do you think Israel will remain as the host country, or do you think the EBU will relocate the contest?

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