Serbia prepares for two major events in the next two weeks, a pre-term parliamentary election on May 11th and, of course, the Eurovision Song Contest, for which rehearsals start the same day. Carl Bildt and Svante Stockselius discussed safety in relation to Belgrade last night on Swedish TV.
It is a golden opportunity for Serbia to show that they can pull off a big event like the Eurovision Song Contest. However, concerns were aired after the riots in relation to Kosovo’s independence and many have been worried as to whether or not Belgrade would be safe. Calls were made for the EBU to step in and find another host. This, and much more was discussed by the Swedish Minister for Foreign affairs Carl Bildt and the Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest Svante Stockselius on SVT’s ‘Agenda’ last night.
The reason for the discussion was mainly because of the pubic unrest when Kosovo declared independence in February 2008. Serbia does not recognise Kosovo as a indepent country and demonstrations against foreign recognition of Kosovo caused worries in relation to the upcoming Contest. Is Belgrade safe for the thousands of people that will visit the city these coming weeks? Both Carl Bildt and Svante Stockselius believe that Belgrade will be perfectly safe for both fans and press, and Bildt adds that it would be devastating both for the country and the people of Serbia if there were to be any violence during the Eurovision Song Contest. However, Svante Stockselius doesn’t believe there will be any problems, since the Serbian authorities are taking extra precautions this year.
EuroVisionary would like to thank Viktoria Karlsson for contributing this article.