Spain: Too Poor to Win a Singing Contest?
The Spanish contestant in the pan-European singing show “Eurovision” has said her crisis-hit country would struggle to host the next event if she were to win the competition, according to various reports.
Pastora Soler will sing her song “Quedate Conmigo” (Stay With Me) at the contest's final, scheduled to be held on Saturday in Azerbaijan's capital Baku. Soler said Spain’s economic crisis would make it difficult to stage the next competition if she won, the reports said. Each season of the program is broadcast from the home country of the previous year’s winner.
"If we won, I think it would be impossible to stage the next edition because it costs so much money," Soler told ABC Punto Radio, quoted by the BBC.
The Eurovision Song Contest, which launched in 1956 and in which 51 countries have taken part since, is held annually and is one of the longest-running live TV programs in the world.
Viewers in each country vote for other countries' candidates, and the contestant who gets the most votes wins, with the winner's country getting the honor of organizing the next competition.
Other media reported that directors from state-owned Spanish broadcaster TVE sent Soler a message telling her jokingly: "Please, don't win!"
Spain, burdened by the burst of a real estate bubble, is in recession and its banks arelikely to need more funds from the government to increase their capital, according to officials from rating agency Standard & Poor’s.
Earlier this week, the Institute of International Finance warned that under a worst-case scenario Spain's bank losses could hit 260 billion euros ($331.7 billion), with the majority of the losses stemming from commercial real estate loans.
—By CNBC’s Antonia Oprita