There's a crisis in the Maltese music scene! The Maltese Maltasong chairman Grace Borg said today that the clause which allows foreign composers and authors to take part in Malta Song for Europe 2005 will be retained. Meanwhile, the Union of Maltese Composers and Authors (UKAM) is expected to order its members not to submit songs for the Maltese national final.
Borg announced that the submission deadline for Malta Song for Europe 2005 has been extended to 24th November. The question is if any songs will be submitted, as Maltese musicians have to make a choice between the Maltasong committee and the UKAM. Anyone who submits a song for the national final might be boycotted by the Maltese music scene, while withdrawing submitted songs might be harmful for Malta's Eurovision Song Contest results. Meanwhile, several composers and authors have already prepared entries–for them, withdrawing would mean a lost investment for sure!
The Union of Maltese Composers and Authors (UKAM) and the Maltasong board could not agree during the past weeks over a proposed clause, that would allows foreigners to participate. Grace Borg said that the board would not be intimidated by the actions that the UKAM is threatening to take. Additionally,Borg explained that the UKAM is no longer a legally registered union according to the government gazette of December 2001.
Legally or not, the question may be who can hold their breath longest. If the situation doesn't change, Malta faces three possible scenarios. A song contest with a very few entries submitted only by few locals and by a number of foreigners takes place. Or, no national final takes place – instead Maltasong might select an entry internally. Potentially UKAM can force Maltasong to resign, and thus a national final without foreigners would take place anyway.
It seems that everyone has forgotten that the German composer Ralph Siegel entered the Maltese national final last year and that the duo Borg and Vella entered the song Heatwave for the Dutch national final in 2003, neither of which has ever been questioned. But UKAM has nothing against that… Most likely to be continued!