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Greece's Eurovision entry sounds like a cry for debt relief

Sure it’s a bit far-fetched, but stay with us on this one.

Greek singer Maria Elena Kyriakou
Greek singer Maria Elena Kyriakou
Image: Ailura

WHEN GERMANY’S 2013 Eurovision entry was unceremoniously shown the door by judges, the poor performance was blamed on Angela Merkel’s tough approach to debt-laden countries.

This Saturday, when the awards final gets under away for another year, it appears politics will again be bubbling away just under the surface.

Take the entry from Greece, titled One Last Breath, which includes lyrics like:

I’m begging you take me out of this firing hell … Nothing left / All that I have is one last breath / Only one last breath.”

While at first blush it’s a song full of heartfelt yearning, a few commentators have suggested a connection between the plea for help and the country’s ongoing debt crisis.

The Wall Street Journal made the link, noting state broadcaster ERT was backing singer Maria Elena Kyriakou for the competition.

Maria Elena Kyriakou Source: Ailura

The station was abolished during a cost-cutting drive under the country’s right-wing former administration, before it was recently reinstated by the new, anti-austerity Syriza government.

MarketWatch went even further with the authors citing the song’s “clear echoes of dire economic situation in Greece”:

On the face of it, it’s a ballad about romantic despair. But if you’re listening right, the lyrics couldn’t be a more pointed appeal to citizens of the eurozone — who will be tuning into the contest in their millions — to help end Greece’s financial agony.”

Source: Eurovision Song Contest/YouTube

A sense of timing

It comes amid more bad economic news for the cash-strapped country, which earlier this month slipped back into recession after nearly a year of growth.

The government has warned it could run out of cash in just over two weeks when its next major repayment to the IMF falls due on 5 June.

However it’s not the only song hiding a potential political message.

The entry from Armenia, a country which has been campaigning for the deaths of 1.5 million people under the Ottoman Empire in 1915 to be recognised as genocide, is titled “Don’t Deny” and includes some heavily-loaded lyrics:

Feels like so many times life was unfair / Will you run and forget all the despair? / If it’s breaking you down, remember the power inside / Face every shadow you denied.”

Then there’s the official video clip, which flashes between the modern day performers and what looks suspiciously like families from the early 1900s.

Source: Eurovision Song Contest/YouTube

Both it and the French entry have both been accused of politicising the contest with references to the claimed genocide, which had its centenary commemoration this year.

But so far it doesn’t appear to have done any harm with the Greek and Armenian entries making it through yesterday’s first semi-final unscathed.

Russia Animated GIF Source: Giphy

READ: Syriza has done another big U-turn on its election promises >

READ: Greek subway stations are showing films demanding World War II reparations >

About the author:

Peter Bodkin  / Editor, Fora

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