Following the Andorran broadcaster announcement to cut down expenses for next year's budget and the possibility for the country to withdraw from the Eurovision Song Contest, the director of ATV, Mr. Enric Castellet, has tried to relieve the controversy stating that no final decision has yet been taken. He went on saying that he regards himself as a “defender” of the Eurovision project.
Mr. Castellet believes that there has been much fuss around his declarations a few weeks ago when, in the presentation of ATV's new programme schedule for the 2009-2010 season, he said that the broadcaster's budget would be narrowed down due to the management's policy of cutting down expenses, and this could result in a withdrawal of the country from the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest. For the ATV head, the optimal budget to invest in the Eurovision Song Contest would be "€ 300,000 or more", when this year the broadcaster devoted € 140,000.
That announcement had immediate consequences on the Internet, with a group on Facebook aiming to persuade ATV to stay in Eurovision. The initiative has gathered the support from more than 800 members to date.
Now, the director of ATV has softened his words, saying that the final decision on the matter has not been taken yet: "shareholders have the last word" on the participation of Andorra in the European competition, Mr. Castellet explained. However, he regards himself as a "defender" of the Andorran Eurovision project: "It creates enthusiasm", but he believes that it would be better to carry it out with "people from the country" with enough quality.
Mr. Oriol Villela, vice president of the Andorran Musicians Association, also had their say on the matter. In his opinion, ATV should change the plans of their Eurovision quest: "Projects should be more realistic and representative of the Andorran music", he stated, and went on criticising the system developed in the past years: "Projects have been too commercial, intending to follow the trend of promoting divas". Anyway, withdrawing from Eurovision would be "a step backwards", Mr. Villela concluded as a personal thought.
Andorra debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest back in 2004, having participated in the competition ever since. Despite its efforts, the country has never managed to reach the final, only placing 12th in the 2007 semifinal.