Eurovision off key with OASA

Transport authorities yesterday snubbed a request by the organizers of next year’s Eurovision Song Contest, to be hosted in Athens, for the implementation of an Olympics-style road network scheme used when the city hosted the Games last year. Sources said the Athens Urban Transport Organization (OASA) opposed a proposal by organizers to set aside a separate traffic lane for Eurovision visitors. Athens won hosting rights to the 59th Eurovision song contest after singer Helena Paparizou won with Greece’s entry, «My Number One,» at this year’s contest in Kiev, Ukraine, in May. Organizers anticipate that 45 entries – each with at least 30 people on their teams – will participate in Eurovision next year. The competition is popular in Greece, attracting the attention of mainstream media. Some 2,500 journalists are expected to visit Athens next year to cover the event. Sources said Eurovision organizers were also disappointed when OASA turned down their request to offer the song contest’s spectators free transportation.