The Israeli news website ynet have announced today that Israel may be forced to give up their right to host Eurovision 2019 due to financial difficulties.
In order for Israel to secure their right to host the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest, they must first deposit 12 million Euros (50 million NIS - New Israeli Shekels) into a Swiss bank account; However, it has been reported that the Israel broadcaster, IPBC, are struggling to come up with the necessary funds.
The EBU had initially given Israel a deadline of August 1st to provide the 12 million deposit, but later extended the deadline by 2 weeks, until August 14th.
There is an ongoing dispute between the government and the broadcaster as to who will pay the deposit. The broadcaster has stated that it will not be able to pay the deposit unless they either fire up to 200 workers or unless they cut back on some of their television productions whereas ynet has stated that The Ministry of Finance has refused to guarantee the Israeli broadcaster will be given the necessary funds to first secure the contest and secondly to host the contest.
In a meeting between the Israeli broadcaster and the finance minister, it was revealed that to host the contest, it would cost around 150 million NIS, with around a 50 million NIS income and a charge of 100 million NIS to the taxpayer.
Chairman of the Israeli broadcaster, Gil Omer, sent a letter to Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, in which he stated:
"For the past two weeks, I have been making great efforts to inform the decision makers of the obstacles we face in order to make every effort to resolve them.” In various letters I sent during this period, I noted that we see great importance in the competition in Israel, Both from the image and the economic point of view. “Unfortunately, our repeated requests for intensive work to solve the major problems that stand in the way of competition in Israel have not been answered"
What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments below!