Earlier this year, an investigation was called to look into allegations that Malta spent a substantial amount of their Eurovision 2021 budget on manipulating the betting odds in their favour. This week, it was revealed that no irregularities were found in the country’s spending, according to MP Carmelo Abela.
Claims of financial mismanagement dismissed
Back in May, Abela had requested an audit after receiving reports that part of Malta’s money was spent on inflating their odds with bookmakers. In addition, it was said that the Malta Tourism Authority had spent around €350,000 on promoting Destiny’s single “Je Me Casse”, way over their initial budget. This was used on social media platforms by uploading content in support of their entry. Another €300,000 was spent by the Public Broadcasting Services, roughly totalling at €650,000.
Following the investigation, Minister Carmelo Abela said:
“The audit found that both the Malta Tourism Authority and the Public Broadcasting Service worked within their own respective procurement regulations”
The audit found that no money was spent on lowering Malta’s betting odds for this year’s contest. Furthermore, Abela has declined to make the audit public, insisting that there were restrictions on publishing the full report.
In the end, Destiny helped Malta achieve their best result since 2005. She won her semi final before finishing 7th place in the final with 208 points from the juries and 47 points from the televote.
Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest
Malta first participated in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1971 with Joe Grech and his song, “Marija I-Malitja”, which finished in last place with 52 points. They also finished last on their second attempt in the contest in 1972. After a third appearance in 1975, Malta withdrew from the contest until 1991, when they returned and finished in sixth place with 106 points.
Since their return in 1991, Malta has finished in the top three on four occasions – Mary Spiteri with “Little Child” in 1992 and Chiara with “The One That I Love” in 1998 which both finished in third place. Also, Ira Losco with “7th Wonder” in 2002 and Chiara with “Angel” in 2005, which both finished in second place. Malta has not yet won the contest, however.
Following the cancellation of the 2020 contest, Destiny was reselected with the internally-selected entry, “Je Me Casse”. She ended up getting Malta’s best result in Eurovision since 2005, placing 7th with 255 points.
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