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Swiss capital backs Eurovision Song Contest bid

Majority of Bern city parliament backs ESC bid
Majority of Bern city parliament backs ESC bid Keystone-SDA

The majority of Bern’s city parliament supports Bern and Biel’s bid for the Eurovision Song Contest 2025. On Thursday, the council approved a contribution of CHF7 million by 34 votes to 22.

Fourteen council members abstained from voting. The SP, the Centre Party and the FDP helped the bill to a breakthrough.

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The spokesperson for the Liberals spoke of a “spring fairy tale that benefits everyone” and could bring Bern added value in the two to three-digit million range. The federal city would become “the centre of Europe and the world, and for little money,” enthused the spokesperson for the Centre Party.

Opposition came from the SVP and the far-left parties AL, PdA and GaP, supported by individual Greens and two young left-wing parties. The event was not environmentally friendly and was simply too big for Bern, they said.

It was also considered risky to plan the world’s largest music competition in the new Festhalle. This is not due to be completed until the end of March 2025, just a few weeks before the ESC.


It remains to be seen whether the city’s contribution will be a done deal after Thursday’s decision. Exponents of the SVP and the Green Alternative Party are considering launching a referendum. A proposal to voluntarily submit the contribution to the people clearly failed.

Switzerland will be competing in the ESC after Nemo from Biel won this year’s edition. The Bernese bid therefore also includes side events in Nemo’s home town. SRG will decide on the bids from Bern/Biel, Zurich, Basel and Geneva by the end of August.

The Bern promoters estimate the total cost at a good CHF 40 million. The lion’s share is made up of security costs, which are to be covered by the federal government and the canton of Bern. The Bernese cantonal government presented a loan of almost CHF 30 million for this on Thursday.

Bern’s largest party, the SVP, is already threatening a referendum. Priority must be given to tax relief for the population instead of expensive major events for a few, it said.

Translated from German by DeepL/mga

This news story has been written and carefully fact-checked by an external editorial team. At SWI we select the most relevant news for an international audience and use automatic translation tools such as DeepL to translate it into English. Providing you with automatically translated news gives us the time to write more in-depth articles.

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