An investigation into Malta’s spending at the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 has found to be fully consistent, according to the country’s Prime Minister.
As a result, public broadcaster PBS will not face sanctions from the Maltese government regarding the upcoming Contest.
Prime Minister Carmelo Abela ordered an audit into PBS’ spending in the wake of the 2021 Contest in May. PBS faced allegations of misconduct after it emerged that part of the budget was reportedly used to manipulate betting odds in Malta’s favour.
In addition, the Maltese Tourism Authority (MTA) was found to have overspent in the promotion of their representative – Destiny – on social media. Part of the budget was also alleged to have been spent on Eurovision influencers to create pro-Maltese content.
With Destiny tipped to win the Contest going into rehearsals, Malta ultimately finished in 7th place. However, the Maltese delegation had spent upwards of €650,000 on Malta’s participation, according to The Times of Malta.
Out of the woods
Now, following an extensive audit carried out by the Maltese government, PBS has been cleared of wrongdoing.
While the full content of the investigation haven’t been revealed, Prime Minister said that no evidence of financial mismanagement was found.
Speaking to The Malta Independent, Prime Minister Abela said:
“The audit found that both the MTA and PBS worked within their own respective procurement regulations.”Carmeno Abela, Maltese Prime Minister
This now means that public broadcaster PBS is clear to prepare for Eurovision 2022 in Turin. For the upcoming Contest, the Malta Eurovision Song Contest is set to make a return. Specific dates and artists have yet to be revealed; however, the final will take place in February.
Malta’s history at Eurovision
Throughout its time at Eurovision, Malta has had varied results at the close of voting. Making its debut in 1971 with Joe Grech’s “Marija l-Maltija”, Malta’s first two entries finished last. This prompted a sixteen-year withdrawal, before returning in 1991 and scoring a 6th place. Malta’s best results came in 2002 and 2005, when Ira Losco and Chiara, now superstars on the island nation, finished in second place.
In 2021, former Junior Eurovision champion Destiny represented Malta with her song ‘Je Me Casse’. Despite being one of the favourites to win the competition in Rotterdam, Malta finished in 7th place. At the close of voting, Malta received 255 points, 208 points from the jury and 47 from the televote.
What do you make of this news? Should PBS have been found guilty for financial misconduct? What do you think this will mean for Malta’s Eurovision 2022 participation? As always, let us know what you think by commenting below or on our social media. Also, be sure to follow ‘That Eurovision Site’ on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for all upcoming information about Malta.
News Source: The Malta Independent
Photo Credit: EBU / Thomas Hanses