Following a proposal made by Sulev Valner, editor-in-chief of Maaleht, one of Estonia's largest weekly newspapers, Minister of Culture, Laine Jänes now disusses a possible boycott of the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest to be held in Moscow, due to the latest developments between Russia and Georgia.
With an anti Russian feeling running high currently in the country, Estonian Minister of Culture, Laine Jänes, is openly discussing the possibility for Estonia to boycott the next Eurovision Song Contest due to the Russian-Georgian conflict.
Ms Jänes seems to be taking a balanced approach to the issue. Whereas, on one handshe suggests that a common boycott strategy with Latvia and Lithuania could be a possibility, she also made it clear that it is a matter that should be thoroughly discussed and many factors are to be taken into consideration. One of those being the viewpoints of local artists: "Some might ask whether it is right to punish the artists, as the contest is very important to them", she said. Ms Jänes also emphasised that culture should be like a bridge between countries and people, uniting and not dividing.
The Minister also seems to attach great importance to the Eurovision Song Contest, comparing the decision to boycott it to that of boycotting the Olympic Games. She admits, though, that it is harder to change the venue of the Eurovision Song Contest than of the Olympic games, as the latter is decided upon political reasons whereas one earns the right to host the contest only by winning it.
The issue will be discussed openly among all interested parties, ie members of the music industryas well as the wider public says Margus Allikmaa, Chairman of the Board of ETV, the Estonian national broadcaster, who is personally in favour of a boycott. A decision should be reached soon.
Special thanks to Kristiina Veerde for her contribution to the article.