CNN: “Eurovision Song Contest finals have inspired clashes on the streets of the capital, Baku”

The world media and international organizations are concentrated on human rights violations and the general situation in Azerbaijan because of the “Eurovision 2012”. Many articles and reports have already been published on this topic. CNN has typed another large article about the Eurovision 2012 and Azerbaijan.

“With the recent headlines emerging from Azerbaijan, you could be forgiven for assuming something more dramatic than a singing competition was about to descend on the country.

In recent weeks, the Eurovision Song Contest finals, which take place Saturday, have inspired clashes on the streets of the capital, Baku, between Azerbaijani police and opposition activists, and accusations by state-controlled media in Azerbaijan that a German “conspiracy” was waging an “information war” against the hosts”, the article starts.

Then it continues with information about Armenia. “That followed a boycott of the contest announced by neighboring Armenia in March, after the shooting of a soldier on their shared border.

It’s all a far cry from American Idol. But Eurovision has always carried higher stakes than its sequins and songs in made-up languages would suggest”.

Armenia‘s withdrawal from this year’s competition is the result of tensions that have festered since a war with Azerbaijan over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh in the 1990s, which left between 20,000 and 30,000 people dead. But it is not the first boycott to hit the contest:, it continues.

Speaking about the Eurovision contest in general the author of the article refers to the problems in Azerbaijan again.

“The new arrivals have not been welcomed by everybody. Their success has fueled suspicion among Eurovision’s old guard that the contest has become plagued with tactical “bloc voting” — where groups of countries vote tactically, essentially rigging the voting.

In 2008, British broadcaster Sir Terry Wogan wuit his Eurovision duties after 35 years, saying the event was “no longer a music contest.”

Research published by a British academic in 2006 would appear to support his position.

Dr Derek Gatherer’s analysis of Eurovision voting patterns between 1999 and 2005 concluded that bloc voting in the contest had increased.

He identified three major voting blocs from which a winner was usually produced: The Balkan Bloc (Croatia, Macedonia, Slovenia, Greece, Cyprus, Serbia and Montenegro, Turkey, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania and Romania), the Warsaw Pact (Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, Georgia and Moldova) and the Viking Empire (Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania).

By contrast, France, the UK, Germany, Spain and Italy — the so-called Big Five who make the biggest financial contributions to the contest, and are given an automatic place in the final —- did not belong to a bloc, and so had not won since the UK‘s victory in 1997, according to Gatherer.

At the time the paper was published, Gatherer successfully predicted that Serbia would win in 2007. However since then, Big Five member Germany has also been successful.

Many Eurovision pundits reject the notion that voting patterns are a reflection of something untoward. Fricker says it is natural for countries to vote for neighbors with whom they may share cultural affinities, as the votes reflect public tastes”.

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