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Spain

Buzzarro: Was Eurovision's Spanish Entry Urged To Lose?

EL MUNDO (Spain)

MADRID – Has the European economic crisis managed to sully the Eurovision Song Contest? The 2012 edition of the competition, which takes place Saturday in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, includes competitors from an array of debt-ridden countries. This is a European song contest, after all.

But reports say that contestant Pastora Soler from debt-ridden Spain has actually been told it is better not to win. The reason? In case of victory, her native country would be obliged to organize next year's contest: an expenditure that Spain cannot afford, El Mundo reports.

It was state-owned Spanish Radio and Television Corporation (RTVE) that reportedly urged Pastora Soler not to give it her all. "They told me: ‘please, don't win! We first need to beat the crisis'," the candidate explained.

Though she admitted the comment was said with a humorous tone, Soler said some people at the company are actually worried about such a scenario.

Following the controversy her statement created, Soler nevertheless went back on her word, probably because RTVE asked her to: "Nobody in RTVE told me such a thing. Carlos Mochales, RTVE program director, told me that I had more chances than anybody to win the Eurovision," El Mundo reported. But this statement sounds hollow and the harm is done: if the Spanish candidate sings out of the tune Saturday, we will know why!

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Geopolitics

For Erdogan, Blocking Sweden's NATO Bid Is Perfect For His Reelection Campaign

Turkey's objections to Swedish membership of NATO may mean that Finland joins first. And as he approaches an election at home, Turkish President Erdogan is playing the game to his advantage.

For Erdogan, Blocking Sweden's NATO Bid Is Perfect For His Reelection Campaign

January 11, 2023, Ankara (Turkey): Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the International Conference of the Board of Grievances on January 11.

Turkish Presidency / APA Images via ZUMA Press Wire
Pierre Haski

-Analysis-

PARIS — This story has all the key elements of our age: the backdrop of the war in Ukraine, the excessive ambitions of an autocrat, the opportunism of a right-wing demagogue, Islamophobia... And at the end, a country, Sweden, whose NATO membership, which should have been only a formality, has been blocked.

Last spring, under the shock of the invasion of Ukraine by Vladimir Putin's Russia, Sweden and Finland, two neutral countries in northern Europe, decided to apply for membership in NATO. For Sweden, this is a major turning point: the kingdom’s neutrality had lasted more than 150 years.

Turkey's President Erdogan raised objections. It demanded that Sweden stop sheltering Kurdish opponents in its country. This has nothing to do with NATO or Ukraine, but everything to do with Erdogan's electoral agenda, as he campaigns for the Turkish presidential elections next May.

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