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The EBU has withdrawn member services from Romanian public service broadcaster Televiziunea Română (TVR) following the non-payment of debts totalling CHF 16 million (€14.5m).
TVR will now no longer be able to participate in the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest and will lose access to other EBU member services including the Eurovision News and Sports News Exchanges, the right to broadcast specific sporting events, legal, technical and research expertise and lobbying services.
The decision was made after a deadline given to the Romanian government to make satisfactory arrangements to repay the debt expired.
EBU Director General Ingrid Deltenre said: “It is regrettable that we are forced to take this action. We are disappointed that all our attempts to resolve this matter have received no response from the Romanian government. In recent weeks the EBU has taken note of the Ministry of Finance’s suggestion that TVR may be placed into insolvency proceedings which may in turn lead to a profound restructuring of the broadcaster. The EBU is a not-for-profit association which represents 73 Public Service Broadcasters in 56 countries. The continued indebtedness of TVR jeopardizes the financial stability of the EBU itself.”
The EBU regards the Romanian State as legally obliged to underwrite TVR’s debt which goes back as far as January 2007.