Top official: Baku guarantees safety for Eurovision-2012 guests (UPDATE)

Politics Materials 21 May 2012 14:50 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, May 21 / Trend M. Aliyev /

The details were added (the first version was posted at 12:57)

Azerbaijan guarantees full safety of the guests arriving at Eurovision-2012 song contest in Baku, Azerbaijani Presidential Administration Social and Political Department Chief Ali Hasanov said at a press-conference today.

"The Azerbaijani authorities have taken all measures related to social and political security in the country," he said.

"We do this not only for Eurovision song contest, but also to ensure the safety of our citizens throughout the whole year. During the Eurovision contest, security measures were especially enhanced," Hasanov said.

"Azerbaijan has seriously prepared for this contest in all spheres," he said. "All necessary measures have been undertaken."

"All the relevant bodies, all roads are fully ready for the contest," he said.

Hasanov noted that about 20,000 guests will arrive in Baku within the contest.

"The information about funds allocated for the Eurovision song contest is being disseminated in a transparent manner," he said.

"About 50 million manat have been spent for the contest."

He added that other expenses such as the construction of Baku Crystal Hall, the reconstruction of roads and Seaside Park and the rest are designed for the welfare of the population, rather than Eurovision song contest.

Regarding the Eurovision-2012 inscription on the Azerbaijani state flags, Hasanov said it is not normal.

"It is unacceptable for the kiosks to sell flags with this inscription," he said. "In this regard, the State Committee on Standardization, Metrology and Patents expressed its opinion. While speaking more specifically, this is a mistake, rather than a crime. But a criminal penalty may be imposed in the future."

The 57th Eurovision Song Contest will be held in the Baku Crystal Hall near State Flag Square. The first semi-final will be held in Baku on May 22.

The second semi-final will be held on May 24 and the grand final on May 26. The logo for the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest is 'Fire Flower', while the motto is Light your fire.

Azerbaijan won the right to host the prestigious European song contest after the victory of Eldar Gasimov and Nigar Jamal (Ell / Nikki) at Eurovision 2011 in Dusseldorf, Germany last May.