Bert Karlsson, patriarch of Swedish ESC artists, accuses this year's contest more than ever. “I know that countries have wanted to buy votes from each other!”
Bert Karlsson now claims that sources with good insight into the ESC voting, have disclosed extensive cheating in the voting to him. “My source was offered to swap votes with other countries and said that there were others who worked in the same way”, Karlsson says.
He particularly points out Romania, which had jury only. “They gave 12 to FYROM, 10 to Russia and 8 to Cyprus. And Romania then received 12 from Russia, 10 from FYROM and 8 from Cyprus”. Russia and FYROM had jury only too.
“They vote for each other to save each other from relegation, but this also affects other countries. This is a dirty game – one cannot take the contest seriously anymore”, Bert Karlsson says.
Svante Stockselius from the European Broadcasting Union, EBU, and responsible for the joint Eurovision broadcast from Tallinn takes things more calmly. “Every year, these rumours show up, but despite thorough investigation there has never been found any evidence to indicate that anything suspicious has happened.”