War clouds Eurovision contest: Urgent reforms will mean legislation operates 'as Home Office meant it to'

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The Independent Online
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DAVID OWEN and Cyrus Vance are probably not biting their fingers to the bone over it, but the future of the Eurovision Song Contest could hang on the outcome of their peace efforts in the former Yugoslavia, writes Alan Murdoch.

A change in the contest rules means that, from this year, the winning country must host the following year's final. Until now, if your 'Ding dinge dong' (Netherlands 1975) or 'Diggi-loo-diggi-ley' (Sweden 1984) came up trumps, the buck could be passed to a neighbour.

However, the news that the Croatian entry is rising fast in the bookmaker's odds is causing consternation to the organisers. Yesterday, the Dublin bookmakers Paddy Power made the Croatians third favourite at 11-2, breathing down the necks of Ireland's Niamh Kavanagh (9-2), and the Swiss (5-1).

Slovenia and Bosnia Herzegovina are also among the qualifiers for this year's contest on 15 May, being held in Millstreet, Co Cork.