Returning from the Reference Group's meeting in Kiev, Dr. Jürgen Meier-Beer, German head of delegation today gave his estimation of the current situation in an interview with Germany's leading TV news, tagesschau. Meier-Beer praised Ruslana as a “symbol of the new Ukraine” and was very optimistic that the 50th Eurovision Song Contest will take place in Kiev, as planned.
When asked about his impressions, Meier-Beer said: “I was astonished about the repute that is given to the chance of holding the show in May 2005 in Kiev. It is seen as a window to Europe, to celebrate the new Ukraine.” He also gave credit to last year's winner Ruslana, who plays an important role with the protest movement: “She was one of the first persons who backed up the democracy movement after the election frauds. And this at a point in time, when many others were still waiting for the wind of change. She is seen as a symbol of modern Ukraine here.”
The new situation of course also brings some difficulties: “Ukrainian state TV is extremely affected by this revolution. The broadcaster is in a situation of internal changes, but there are many operations you need the old management for. A new concept is in need now.” Nevertheless, Meier-Beer is positive that the 50th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest will take place in Kiev: “Last year around this time, we were asking ourselves if the Contest could take place in Istanbul, because of the attacks. So you can always question if the show will happen. But my impression is that we have a historical chance now to bond the Eurovision Song Contest with the base values of Europe, to express those values with an entertainment show. This is very unusual and a motivation for everybody, not only the Ukrainians, but for the partners from other countries too.”