Local politicians decided on Tuesday to loan 46 million kroner ($8.2 million) to Wonderful Copenhagen to allow the tourist organisation to cover its budget shortfall as a result of massive overspending on the Eurovision Song Contest.
The one-time payment will be paid back to the Capital Region (Region Hovedstaden) by way of a reduction in future support, a move that industry representatives fear will negatively impact tourism in Copenhagen.
The region gives 41 million kroner ($7.3 million) a year to Wonderful Copenhagen, which will now be cut to make up for the loan.
Projektselskabet, a temporary company created by Wonderful Copenhagen to put on Eurovision, overshot its budget by some 76 million kroner ($13.6 million) and is 58 million kroner ($10.4 million) in debt. The organisation said it would cover the remaining 12 million kroner itself following Capital Region’s loan.
According to an internal Projektselskabet obtained by Metroxpress, Capital Region chairwoman Sophie Hæstorp Andersen was made aware of the budget problems on May 21st but did not convey the seriousness of the situation further to other regional politicians.
That allegation did not sit well with Capital Region executive committee member Kenneth Kristensen Berth of the Danish People’s Party.
“I’m very upset about this. It seems like the members of the executive committee have been jerked around by a board of directors and a regional chairwoman who have not told the truth. I frankly find that quite alarming,” Berth told Metroxpress.
Susanne Langer of the Red-Green Alliance (Enhedslisten) said she would demand an “explanation of who knew what and when”.
“Every day there has been a new explanation. That in itself is very troubling. We have been given numerous explanations as to what to expect in terms of overspending, deficits and so on,” she told Metroxpress prior to Tuesday’s regional meeting.
Langer and Endhedslisten’s four other regional board members were the only ones to vote against giving Wonderful Copenhagen the 46 million kroner cash injection.