23 May, 2006
The government on Monday expressed its absolute satisfaction with Saturday's hosting of the 51st Eurovision Song Contest in Athens, dismissing mostly opposition and local press criticism over the event's budget and artistic merits, among others.
The annual pan-European event this year was organized by the Greek state-run broadcasting network (ERT) at the Athens Olympic Complex's (OAKA) indoor stadium, given that a Greek performer had won first place at the 2005 Eurovision finals in Kiev last year.
"The Eurovision contest's hosting was immaculate, and the result today is judged as positive from every angle, especially in terms of the country's promotion abroad," alternate government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros said, adding:
"The event's financial results will be presented very soon at a press conference by ERT president Mr. (Christos) Panagopoulos, however, the balance sheet of such an event cannot be measured only in strict numbers. Thirty television spots promoting Greece were shown on Saturday evening during the course of the three-hour show.
In television time this corresponds to advertising worth 250 million euros, and this must surely be calculated," Antonaros said during his regular press briefing.
Source: Athens News Agency