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DR releases Eurovision docs after pressure

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DR releases Eurovision docs after pressure
Nearly five months after the conclusion of Eurovision, its spending mess remains. Photo: Jonathan Nackstrand/Scanpix
09:44 CEST+02:00
Public broadcaster DR bowed to increasing political and media pressure and release a trove of documents related to the spending scandal-plagued Eurovision contest.
Update, 2.46pm:
 
After significant political pressure and negative press, public broadcaster DR reversed course on Tuesday and released several documents related to May's Eurovision song contest in Copenhagen.
 
"We have reconsidered the situation in light of the enormous political and media interest and after consultation with our board have decided to release contractual documents, as the question about disclosing the material came to overshadow the case's actual focus," DR's general director, Maria Rørbye Rønn, said in a statement.
 
Rønn added that in addition to making the material available online, it has also been handed over to the National Audit Office.
 
Original, 9.44am:
 
The total bill for May's Eurovision extravaganza in B&W Hallerne, converted former ship-building halls in an industrial area on Copenhagen’s Refshaleøen, came to 112 million kroner ($20.2 million), well over the initial 34.6 million kroner ($6.2 million). 
 
On top of that, the publicly-funded DR spent 190 million kroner ($32.3 million) on production. 
 
The overspending has had consequences at the tourist organisation Wonderful Copenhagen, which fired ten percent of its staff and will see a reduction in future financial support from the Capital Region (Region Hovedstaden). 
 
 
The National Audit Office of Denmark (Rigsrevision) wants to see the whole mess thoroughly investigated, but DR is doing everything it can to block access to key documents, Politiken reports.
 
Citing the nation’s radio and television laws, DR’s general director Maria Rørbye Rønn has resisted political calls from both sides of the aisle to release key Eurovision documents. 
 
Capital Region chairwoman Sophie Hæstorp Andersen told Politiken that she wants the public to get full insight into the Eurovision spending, but has been consistently blocked by DR.
 
“Every time we have been asked to share these documents with the public, we’ve been told by DR that the radio and television laws won’t allow it,” Andersen said.
 
 
According to Politiken, DR has repeatedly rejected requests to see key documents, defending its decision by referring to a part of the law that reads “cases and documents relating to DR’s programme service and business related conditions … are exempt from the law on public administration”.
 
Representatives from numerous political parties plan to take the case to the culture minister, Marriane Jelved, in the hopes that she can pressure DR to release the documents. 
 
But the fallout from the Eurovision scandal doesn’t stop with DR. The state administration (Statsforvaltningen) has also initiated an investigation into allegations that Copenhagen Mayor Frank Jensen was aware of the massive overspending months before the song contest began, but did not pass that information on to other key officials.
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