LTV: “Eurovision will take place in Riga!”

Archive 16 Mar 2003
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Ingrida Smite, head of press for the Eurovision Song Contest 2003, assured esctoday.com that the contest wíll take place in Riga this year. Yesterday, the Danish newspaper BT wrote in an article that the contest might had to move due to chaos at LTV.

LTV and the organising committee of the Eurovision Song Contest 2003 were unpleasantly surprised at the fuss which was raised in the Danish newspaper BT about the preparations for the event. The article was based on accusations which the EBU's television director, Bjorn Erichsen, made in relation to the idea that LTV is not on schedule and has not signed the necessary agreements.

“I should point out that under the auspices of the contest, LTV is forced to organise bids for tender on more than 50 items. We cannot choose a catering company for the Skonto Hall, we cannot choose an insurance company, we cannot order the results display board and we cannot choose the deliverer of office supplies without bids for tender”.LTV attorney Ingrīda Veik�a said. “If the results of a tender are questioned by it's competitors, the next process may be delayed. As far as the organisers of the event are concerned, the schedule is being monitored very strictly, and we are looking for the most operative solutions in collaboration with the relevant government institutions. This is an event which involves a series of major and strategically important contracts, and we must not be careless about the way in which these are concluded. In each instance, responsibility will be on the shoulders of LTV”.

“A few weeks ago, the EBU�s legal director, Werner Rumphorst, was in Riga, and I spent an entire day with him and with the former general director of the Danish broadcaster DR, Bjorn Erichsen”, the general director of LTV, Uldis Grava, said. “We talked about co-operation and about programme exchanges, and neither of them said a single word that would indicate any doubts, lack of trust or accusation”.

LTV assures that that they will do everything they can to give all Eurovision Song Contest visitors a safe and happy feeling. “Most important is that the three-hour broadcast from Latvia will be the best ever for millions of viewers, demonstrating the best things that our creative employees and our Swedish colleagues can show”, Gravis said.

An EBU delegation will visit Riga on March 20 and 21 to be informed about the preparations.


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Sietse Bakker


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