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ESC: Conservatives against Eurovision Song Contest in Switzerland

ESC: Conservatives against Eurovision Song Contest in Switzerland
ESC: Conservatives against Eurovision Song Contest in Switzerland

Nemo’s victory at the ESC has sent Switzerland into a frenzy of joy, but not everywhere. Conservative forces are on the attack. Millions in tax money are at stake.

Two months after Switzerland’s victory at the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC), resistance is growing against hosting the mega-event in Switzerland in 2025. “The Eurovision Song Contest is a horrible propaganda event,” rages the conservative Christian party EDU on X. It wants to prevent taxpayers’ money from being used by means of a referendum in all cities that have applied to host the event. In order to force a referendum, 2,000 signatures must be collected in each case.

“I believe that there is criticism from these circles due to the perception of this event as a queer event,” says Thomas Widmer, a political scientist from Zurich, to the broadcaster SRF.

Nemo, non-binary

Nemo won the victory for Switzerland this year as a non-binary person and is committed to ensuring that a third gender can be entered in official documents in Switzerland – as in Germany and other countries. Non-binary people do not see themselves represented in the categories “woman” or “man”.

Questioning certainties

“At the national level, these progressive movements, the queer movement for example, can question many certainties of national understanding, so there is an area of ​​tension here,” said Widmer.

The EDU criticizes the ESC for sparking discussions about gender identity. The EDU is a very small party, it only has two representatives in the national parliament. But the Taxpayers’ Union and some local branches of the SVP, the party with the most voters, are also stirring up sentiment against the ESC.

Geneva, Basel, Zurich, Bern

Geneva, Basel, Zurich and Bern have applied. Bern wants to organize the event in cooperation with Nemo’s hometown of Biel. All possible host municipalities are offering financial support, but are also counting on income for the local economy and advertising for their location. Zurich, for example, has announced a million-euro loan. The decision on which city will be awarded the contract will be made at the end of August. The event is planned for May 2025.

Source: Stern

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