Finance Minister: No Money to Host Eurovision
The Minister for Finance Oleksandr Danyliuk admits Ukraine may forgo the right to host the Eurovision, as the organization-related expenses are too high.
He referred to this in his blog on Ekonomichna Pravda [ed.: the text of this blog post is in the Ukrainian language].
"As a finance person I have to care about the budget and I urge to make a sober estimate of the opportunities and advantages of Eurovision. The project must be financially viable in order to be implemented. [Ukraine’s preliminary Eurovision 2017 budget as evaluated by the experts] of ₴1 billion ($39 million) is a king’s ransom. Various countries have forgone their right to host the competition five times. For instance, in 1960 France granted it to the UK," Minister Danyluik wrote.
Danyliuk added that if Ukraine still decides to have the competition, it is critical to determine "why we do it and how Ukraine would benefit from it."
He also told journalists that the issue was discussed at a Government meeting on Wednesday, May 18 and it had been decided to arrange an open national selection of the Eurovision host city within one month.
"We need a city with management that knows for sure how it will jump at this opportunity and use it for the further municipal development," he went on and recalled that "after the first stage of decentralization, municipal budgets are predominantly in surplus," so the winning city will have to share financial risks with the central government.
"We expect the cities not only to prove their good will but also put effort into infrastructure reform which we will promote investors and donors who will provide funding," he added.
Mr. Danyliuk also informed that a Project Office would be established in the Cabinet of Ministers to deal with the organization of the Eurovision, and he assured that the process would be transparent and accountable to the community and volunteers.
"Communications around the competition are an important job. We have to advertise ourselves to the world and assert to investors that Ukraine is a favorable investment destination. It entails speeding up the reforms and achieving a new quality of public administration," the Minister wrote.