Greek court rejects Melissa Mantzoukis's claim in Eurovision dispute

Victor Vernicos Melissa Mantzoukis Eurovision

Greek broadcaster ERT can be relieved following the court hearing today. The court has denied Melissa Mantzoukis’s claim for a temporary injunction. Victor Vernicos can therefore participate in the Eurovision Song Contest as planned.

Melissa Mantzoukis and her legal team took legal action against broadcaster ERT.

The 18-year-old German-Greek singer sued ERT after losing out in the internal selection for the Eurovision Song Contest 2023. The singer demands the Greek broadcaster to reveal the detailed jury voting and the calculations of the final result (public 50,6% and jury 49,4%). She claims that, with the way the points should have been distributed, there was no way she could potentially have lost the Greek internal selection.

Melissa Mantzoukis decided to take her case to court in Athens. As the case is rather complicated, Mantzoukis and her team demanded a temporary injunction during today's hearing. Had the temporary injunction been granted, ERT would have put all activities surrounding the case on hold. This would have meant that no steps could have been taken to proceed with Victor Vernicos and his Eurovision participation. In short, this would probably have meant a withdrawal of Greece from the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest.

The main reason for denying the temporary injunction is the time pressure involved. If the court had granted the claim by Mantzoukis and her team, there would have been an incredible amount of time pressure. In such a case, the court would have needed to rule within weeks to make Greek participation in Liverpool possible – either with Mantzoukis or Vernicos. This was deemed impossible by the Athens court. They’ve therefore decided to rule on the lawsuit in the expected timeframe: In May – after the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 has taken place.

“What They Say” for Greece

With the current status of the Mantzoukis lawsuit, Victor Vernicos is sure of his Eurovision participation. First reports suggested his song was set to be revealed today, on 6th March. However, the premiere was supposedly postponed due to the train crash in Tempi, near Larisa. Fifty-seven people were killed in the train crash, making it the deadliest train crash in Greece since 1968.

It is currently unknown when the Greek entry will premiere. Victor Vernicos will represent Greece at the Eurovision Song Contest 2023.

The 16-year-old is of Danish descent and has written his song “What They Say” himself. It is the first time since 2009 that ERT has chosen a solo male act for Eurovision. Back then, it was Sakis Rouvas who represented the country in Moscow.