Eurovision Song Contest – EDU questions the ESC in Switzerland – News

Eurovision Song Contest – EDU questions the ESC in Switzerland – News
Eurovision Song Contest – EDU questions the ESC in Switzerland – News

The EDU, parts of the SVP and other organizations want to collect signatures against public financing of the ESC.


Elmar Plozza

09.07.2024, 02:23

The Eurovision Song Contest is one of the biggest television events in the world. Over 180 million people watch the music competition every year. This has a huge advertising effect for the host country. And yet there is resistance in Switzerland to the event being supported with public money.

EDU: “Satanism is celebrated”

The Christian conservative party EDU announced on Tuesday that it would hold a referendum against public support for the ESC in all possible venues, i.e. in Zurich, Bern, Basel and Geneva. Sebastian Kullmann, member of the Bernese Grand Council and member of the executive board of EDU Switzerland, explains that he finds the entire development of the ESC problematic: “What bothers us most is that Satanism and occultism are increasingly being celebrated or at least tolerated. More and more artists are openly presenting occult messages and underlining them with the appropriate symbolism.”


Bambie Thug: This artist represented Ireland in Malmö.

Reuters/Leonhard Foeger

As an example, he mentions the Irish singer Bambie Thug, who appeared as a witch. The EDU is also annoyed that the ESC has fuelled all the discussions about gender identities and the third gender, and is outraged at the way the Israeli singer Eden Golan was booed and hissed at the last ESC. In Switzerland, no public money should be spent on such an event, says the evangelical-oriented party – and it is not alone in this.

Young SVP launches referendum against ESC loan in Zurich

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After the EDU Switzerland threatened to hold a referendum against all loans to venues for the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC), the Young SVP in Zurich is getting serious: it is holding a referendum against the city’s 20 million loan. The young party announced this in a communiqué on Tuesday evening.

It argues that the loan for “such a controversial major event” is in no way justified. It is strange that public funds are being used to support an event that is being misused for political statements. The Young SVP cites the introduction of a third gender and “blatant anti-Semitism”.

The Taxpayers’ Association also intends to support the referendum, at least in Zurich – where the city parliament has approved a 20 million loan for the ESC. And in the canton of Bern, the SVP is also collecting signatures against an ESC loan.

Event is fixed

This puts the cities that want to host the European music competition in a difficult situation. Time is of the essence: referendum votes can only be held in November at the earliest and the event must take place next May. Lukas Wigger, the head of communications for the mayor of Zurich, says: “If this referendum comes about, it will need to be laid out and the city council will then have to decide how to proceed with the candidacy.”


Nemo won the competition for Switzerland.


In this case, it would be necessary to check whether an application is still sensible and whether it is organizationally feasible to hold the event. Similar considerations will be given in other cities. The SRG, which also owns Radio SRF and is responsible for holding the ESC, is also concerned about the possible referendum vote. SRG spokesman Edi Estermann says: “Financial commitments without a referendum requirement are of course less risky and offer us more planning security. Ultimately, however, this is only one aspect of a comprehensive list of requirements.”

Even if a referendum is passed, that does not mean that the city in question cannot host the ESC. But the whole organisation is likely to become more complicated and time-critical. Ultimately, it is also about the fundamental question of whether the ESC is an event worth supporting. Voters in various cities may soon be able to decide on this.

Appointment, 09.07.2024. 12:30 p.m.;come



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