Romania has been expelled from the Eurovision Song Contest for failing to pay outstanding debts.

It is claimed the country has yet to repay more than £7.9million to the European Broadcasting Union - a not-for-profit association which represents 73 public service broadcasters in 56 countries.

Yesterday the union said it was "regrettable that we are forced to take this action", but that four attempts to get a response from the Romanian government had received no reply. Director general Ingrid Deltenre added that the continuing indebtedness of Romania's public service broadcaster, Televiziunea Romana (TVR), "jeopardises the financial stability of the EBU itself".

TVR will also lose access to other EBU member services, including the Eurovision News and the right to broadcast some sporting events. Ovidiu Anton, 24, who was supposed to represent Romania with song Moment of Silence, said: "I am trying to smile and not get carried away, but it is unfair."

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