The recent troubles in Belgrade has led to increasing speculation that the Eurovision Song Contest may be moved from the city. Tonight, after high level talks at the EBU, an official EBU statement has been released. The 53rd Eurovision Song Contest will take place as planned in Serbia, and host broadcaster, RTS will obtain a security guarantee from the Governement on behalf of all participants and visitors.
The EBU statement, signed by Bjørn Erichsen, Director of Eurovision TV and Svante Stockselius, Eurovision Song Contest Executive Supervisor:
"The European Broadcasting Union has of course closely been following the recent development in Serbia and has been in close contact with the organizers of Host Broadcaster RTS. We concluded that the recent irregularities in Belgrade will not cause any delays in the planning of the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest, or complications during the event in May. The EBU has no plans to move the 53rd Eurovision Song Contest from Belgrade. Having complete understanding for all the concerns, RTS will obtain a security guarantee from the government of Serbia regarding a complete and absolute safety of all participants and visitors of the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest in Belgrade.
The EBU is giving its full support and trust to RTS in producing a successful Eurovision Song Contest in May".
Earlier today, Misa Molk of Slovenia suggested that the EBU would look to make alternative arrangements should the situation escalate. Fellow Reference Group member, Kjell Ekholm also put forward Finland as an alternate host country in that scenario.
The EBU will continue to monitor the situation and esctoday.com will remain in discussions with broadcasters about the situation and keep fans and readers informed as we have done throughout the day.