According to reports, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has reacted to an incident regarding the alleged improper intervention of the president of the Greek public broadcaster ERT, Konstantinos Zoulas who purportedly told the Cypriot Ambassador to Athens, Stavros Avgoustides that Greece would not vote for the Cypriot song in the upcoming Eurovision song contest during a meeting in Athens last week.

The EBU, which is the organizer of the annual song contest, scheduled to take place this year in the city of Malmo in Sweden in May, clarified that all participating public broadcasters were aware of the voting rules for the Eurovision Song Contest, and stipulated that the jury committees must vote independently and in a completely fair and objective fashion.

The matter came to light last week after an opinion column published in “Ta Nea” newspaper revealed a document sent by the Cypriot ambassador to the Presidential Palace of Cyprus, according to which the president of ERT purportedly informed the Cypriot diplomat that Greece would not be awarding Cyprus a high score in this year’s song contest.

The issue sparked many reactions, given that the jury committee tasked with voting for the songs had not even been set up at the time of the meeting between the president of ERT and the Cypriot diplomat. In addition, according to the regulations governing the contest, the jury must be independent of the broadcasting organization.

The EBU, which has 113 member organizations in 56 countries, one of which is ERT, is particularly strict on matters of transparency and reportedly condemned any attempt to manipulate either the audience or the voting procedure of the jury committee in the Eurovision Song Contest. “All voting procedures are monitored by an independent observer to ensure that we provide a fair and valid result throughout the competition,” the EBU reportedly said.

The frustration and subsequent reaction by the EBU are not trivial, as a source familiar with public broadcasting matters said that even the slightest hint of rule violation in the song contest would reflect poorly not just on ERT, but on the organizer and the competition as a whole. The source said that the issue greatly troubled the EBU officials.

The EBU is a powerful European institutional body. It operates nearly 2,000 television, radio and online channels and services, providing large volumes of content across many platforms. It reached an audience of more than one billion people around the world, broadcasting in 153 languages.

The “clarifications” attempted by the president of ERT after the revelation of the meeting with the ambassador failed to offer any reassurances to the European officials. At the same time, Cyprus also seems annoyed with the issue.