Romania has been shockingly kicked out of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest after its public service broadcaster failed to pay outstanding debts dating back to 2007. The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) claim that Romania’s Televiziunea Romana (TVR) owes then over £14 million and has so far failed to make satisfactory arrangements to repay the debt.

A photo posted by Ovidiu Anton (@ovidiuanton) on

In a statment, 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.”

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"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 jeopardises the financial stability of the EBU itself,”  Deltenre added. TVR will now also lose access to other EBU member services, including the Eurovision News and Sports News and the right to broadcast specific sporting events.

Writing on his website, Ovidiu Anton, who was due to represent the country at this year’s contest on May 12th, said: “Dear friends, I have finally received the official communication.. I am trying to smile and not get carried away, but it is unfair.”

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“I am still the same, same honest artist, same fighter that won fare and square both from the jury and from the public’s vote… but yet, I have to declare I have been “defeated”…. by whom? why? Fair?… I don’t know how to put it nicely, so I abstain..”