News circulating today that Latvia has withdrawn from the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow is still unconfirmed by either broadcaster LTV or the EBU. Head of delegation, Iveta Lepesko was quoted as saying that “Latvia may withdraw due to insufficient funding”.
A final meeting of the LTV Board to discuss the funding crisis in Latvia's national broadcaster is due at 14:00 local time tomorrow, but esctoday.com can confirm that having already submitted their application to participate, a withdrawal at this stage would mean they would still have to pay the participation fee.
The Latvian government is set to provide additional fundingfor the troubled broadcaster, but it is not yet known if this will cover the participation fee as well as shoring up the broadcaster to maintain all of their current channels on television and radio.
According to the rules of the Eurovision Song Contest, Latvia have already confirmed their intent to take part in the competition, and would at this stage be required to pay the participation fee in full whether or not they take their place in Moscow. The only additional savings that would be made would be that of the hotel and travel expences, which has run into many tens of thousands of euros for delegations in recent years with the high cost of accomodation.