Eurovision may have paid off big for Conchita Wurst, but for Danish taxpayers it resulted in a much larger bill than expected.
Metroxpress newspaper obtained access to the accounts of Projektselskabet, a part of the publicly-owned tourist organisation Wonderful Copenhagen, which was responsible for the Eurovision bonanza. The figures show that the company overshot its budget by a whole 70 million kroner.
According to the obtained documents, the Eurovision organisers budgeted for just 26 million kroner in public funds from the Copenhagen city council, the Capital Region (Region Hovedstaden) and the region-operated Wonderful Copenhagen. The final bill being sent on to taxpayers however is estimated to be closer to 97 million kroner.
Financial experts who spoke with Metroxpress characterised the company’s preliminary budgets and accounts as “unprofessional”, “primitive” and a sign that the Projektselskabet “had no experience whatsoever with this kind of show”.
The reactions of politicians weren’t much kinder.
“I’m at a total loss for words to describe the total incompetence on behalf of Wonderful Copenhagen,” the Danish People Party’s Kenneth Kristensen Berth told Metroxpress.
Susanne Langer of the Red-Green Alliance (Enhedslisten) described it as “getting a bill with a gun to your head”.
Projektselskabet admitted that it had gone “considerably over budget” but stressed that the final figures would not be ready until August.