This announcement prompted both joy and despair, depending, no doubt, on your view of the contest which has been running for more than half a century. Many felt that by not taking part Greece was displaying commendable fiscal restraint and in any case who gives a monkey's about such a musical dog's breakfast.
I can only presume there were others who may well have felt that if for no other reason than national pride, the country should be represented at this year's contest which takes place in Malmo on three days next week culminating in the final on Saturday, May 18. I further presume that these people are now delighted that somehow it was decided that after all the money could be found for Greece to do Eurovision battle.
Maybe this was not so surprising when you consider that within the last few years Greece was talked into buying two slightly soiled submarines from, now, who was it?...oh yes, Germany, the country that is always telling Greece to tighten its pursestrings. Perhaps that is a digression and I admit I'm not entirely certain how Eurovision entries are funded, but submarines and song contests are a long way down my shopping list.
And so it is that Greece will be represented by the group Koza Mostra together with the popular rebetiko singer Agathon Iakovidis to perform the song Alcohol Is Free. Here they are in a special Eurovision picture:
The song Alcohol Is Free is a comment on the tough times Greece is going through. Strictly speaking, the song title lies, alcohol is not free here although I can confirm it's a lot cheaper than in the UK. Anyway, the song is a pretty frenetic crash, bang, wallop sort of a job by Koza Mostra who are described as practitioners of "Balkan ska". I've only listened to it once and it's the sort of thing I imagine I'd jig around to if I'd had a couple of drinks, free or not.
You can make your own mind up by watching the video. Nifty kilts, aren't they?
So there you have it, a rather nicely bonkers entry for a completely bonkers competition. As someone who doesn't even have a television I won't be watching what happens next week in Malmo, but I wish Koza Mostra well, in fact, I wish good luck to all contestants. Let's face it, at least while countries are singing at each other we can reasonably hope they're not gearing up for invasion.