Serbia-Montenegro Battles Itself Out Of Eurovision
Serbia-Montenegro has pulled out of May's (06) Eurovision Song Contest after an "embarrassing" battle over which band should represent the federation. Montenegrin boyband NO NAME were originally selected to perform at the contest over Serbian group FLAMINGOES, but Serbian music fans accused Montenegrin judges of tactical voting. Serbia suggested a new contest for fairness, but when Montenegro refused, the country withdrew from the competition completely. Serbian broadcaster RTS boss ALEKSANDAR TIJANIC says, "It would be better for all of us not to have a representative at the contest in Athens. "Otherwise, we would have to accept manipulations, pressures and blackmails imposed by the music clans and political mentors who brought us to this embarrassing situation." Serbia-Montenegro now faces a fine of up to 35,000 Swiss Francs ($25,000/GBP15,000) and a possible three-year ban from annual music contest. Meanwhile, Montenegro holds a referendum on 21 May (06) - the day after the Eurovision final - to declare independence from Serbia.