The President of ERT, Konstantinos Zoulas, responded yesterday to the article published in TA NEA‘s Mikropolitikos column stating that he forewarned Cypriot Ambassador Stavros Avgoustides that ERT would not be awarding a high score to Cyprus’ participation in this year’s Eurovision, despite the fact that the scores in question will be decided upon by an independent jury, whose members had not even been announced at the time of their discussion.

Zoulas responded: “ERT’s management has never had—and is clearly not permitted to have—any involvement whatsoever in the evaluations reached by the independent Eurovision jury, whose members are nominated each year by ERT’s Communication Directorate. As such, it had no involvement in either the first place awarded to Cyprus by the independent ERT jury in 2021 or in last year’s scores, which placed Cyprus’ participation 7th out of 26 countries. I explained this to the Cypriot Ambassador at our meeting three months ago—as a side issue, obviously, on the margins of the far more serious issues being discussed, mentioning that those involved with Eurovision at ERT were surprised by RIK’s decision that Cyprus should be represented this year by one of the songs ERT had rejected last year. And, in this context, I told him that I dearly hoped the verdict of the independent jury appointed by ERT this year would not be the same as that of the jury which rejected the song in question, taking it as given, needless to say, that no one—and least of all myself personally—can influence its deliberations.”

Excerpt from Micropolitikos column:

Since the discussion was the subject of an on-the-record diplomatic brief, the Ambassador conveyed Zoulas’ words verbatim and we know exactly what he said. Which was this: “In relation to Cyprus’ participation in this year’s 2024 Eurovision contest, unavoidably, Greece will not be awarding Cyprus a high score,” since the song selected to represent Cyprus this year was rejected in 2023, by a different jury from the one that will be judging the entries in this year’s 2024 Eurovision. Now, I don’t know what “unavoidably, Greece will not be awarding Cyprus a high score” means for the Chairman of ERT, but to my ears it definitely doesn’t sound like a hope being expressed or an assurance being given that the administration is not involved. But hey, what can I say: you and I may not speak the same language…