Strong Greek reactions to German EU joke

A national final winner that refused to go to the Eurovision Song Contest! That was the bit from last night’s German final, Unser Song für Österreich, that caused headlines all around Europe. However, in Greece, it was a joke made by the host of the show that got most attention.

Barbara Schöneberger, host of the German national final Unser Song für Österreich,  made the following joke during the show held last night: ‘Australia does not belong in the EU, but my friends, nor does Greece and they are still taking part’.

To many it might be a harmless joke, but to the Greeks it is pushing the already strained relations between them and Germany. Due to the economical crisis in Greece and the latest political development where a new government asked the European Union for significantly better conditions for their loans, relations between the two countries are not at their best. Greece got a better agreement despite Germany not being in favour, and them stating that the Euro could do with Greece pulling out.

Unsurprisingly, what was said last night by the German presenter has brought a strong reaction, not just among the Greek Eurovision fans; the issue has already become a topic of discussion on TV news, and on many major news websites:

  • ‘Provocation on German Eurovision selection: "Greece should not belong to the European Union" – Star TV,

‘An unprecedented provocative phrase/attack on Greece made by the presenter of the German final of Eurovision, indicating that our country should not belong to the European Union! In the context of Australia’s participation in this year’s event, which is due to the 60th anniversary of the music contest, Barbara Schöneberger satirized the happenings in the Greek economy in a crass manner.

  • ‘Ironic comments for Greece in the German Eurovision final’ –

‘Greece was referred to with ironic comments during the presentation of the German final for the selection of the song that will go to Eurovision. This time it was the presenter of the contest, Barbara Schöneberger, who, during the evening and on the occasion of the participation of Australia in this year’s event, said that it is a nice surprise, although it is located outside Europe … only to follow that up with a joke about Greece also being a country outside Europe: ‘You are all wondering at home… " But Australia is not in the European Union", yet neither does Greece belong to the European Union but they are allowed to sing, too’ she said to an applauding audience.’

  • ‘Eurovision 2015: The statement of German presenter for the participation of Greece that causes uproar’ –

‘The statement of a German presenter, Barbara Schöneberger, about Greece’s participation in Eurovision is circulating on the internet. On Thursday evening, the final for the selection of the song that will represent Germany in the music contest took place. However, the night apparentley descended into a fiasco as the artist who won turned down the ticket to Austria. As if that was not enough, the presenter of the final also made ironic comments about the participation of Greece, which triggered sharp comments on social media.’

  • ‘Eurovision 2015: Bomb statement of German presenter against Greece triggers… reactions!–

‘A musical evening organized by the Germans escalated into a fiasco, partly because, on one hand, the singer who won refused to get the ticket for the Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna, and, on the other, because Barbara Schöneberger, the presenter of the German final, made a comment that sparked internet controversy and triggered a music "war" between Greece and Germany.’

  • Eurovision 2015: propaganda, confusions and departures in the German final– ERT news 

‘It was a national final in Germany that wrote its own history! For the onstage celebrations of the hostess with Conchita! For the bad momments, with a fair dose of political propaganda in the humor of hostess Barbara Schöneberger who, in her effort to make us laugh commenting on the participation of Australia in this year’s event in May in Vienna, confused Europe with the European Union!’

Greek people on various social media criticised the German Broadcaster joking about how Germany should not expect any points from Greece. Many demanded that the EBU and NERIT address the issue, which they considered too strong a political offence.

NDR haven’t yet commented on this issue, but Jarmo Siim, Communications Cordinator at EBU quickly dismissed the case when he to said:  “We consider this a satirical comment, and are confident that this was in no way intended as an insult. To judge an entire nation on the comments of a TV host is ridiculous.”

You can watch the report of ERT news in the folowing video.

Source: EuroVisionary,, ΕΡΤ3
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