FYR Macedonia – EBU seems to have lifted MRT’s sanctions

It seems that the story of Macedonia’s participation in Lisbon is looking brighter now as it did just a week ago. After reports about MRT’s membership in the EBU being in jeopardy, MRT has now released a statement on the situation. 

No longer dancing alone

The full statement by an anonymous spokesperson at the MRT and first published in English on Eurovoix is as follows:

“In 2012 the total debt amounted (to the EBU) was EUR 3.165 million. The paid amount in the period from 1 March 2012 to 26 October 2017 is EUR 6,146 million. The current matured obligations are up to 1.027 million euros out of which 434.000 euros are due solely on the basis of purchased sports rights: FIFA World Cup 2018, UEFA European Qualifications 2016-2018, Athletics IAEA 2017 and other events. Otherwise, between the MRT and the EBU, a meeting was held at the highest level, where it was decided to abolish all sanctions against MRT and all the services provided by the EBU are available on the Macedonian Radio Television again.
It is also very important to emphasise that due to the political crisis and the announcements for the abolition of the broadcasting fee, the Public Revenue Office has collected a significantly lower amount on the basis of the broadcasting fee. Namely, on the basis of the broadcasting fee, the Macedonian Radio Television needs to receive from the PRO amount of EUR 33,947 million, and the obligation for collection of the broadcasting fee is for the Public Revenue Office and the state itself.
We emphasise that if these funds were collected from the PRO in a timely manner, MRT would be able to service the overdue obligations, and at the same time the public service would be able to dispose of funds for the realisation of new program contents.”

What can one take from the statement?

From this statement, one can take, that the sanctions by the EBU seem to be dissolved as MRT have paid a certain amount of money to clear off the debt. Also, according the recent reports on EBU securing the funds from EU for the Balkan broadcasters, it seems that more organised payment could prevent similar situations from happening in the future. One can gather therefore, that the chances for Macedonia to take part in Lisbon are now looking more likely than just a week or so ago.
Keep in mind though, that we still haven’t got neither official statement by MRT, nor by the EBU, so this story doesn’t seem to be over. Stay tuned for more information on Macedonia’s participation in the mean time.
Do you think MRT’s issues with the EBU will be solved in due time for Eurovision? Discuss the matter further in comments below or follow us on social media on @ESCXTRA. 

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