The ‘El Diablo’ saga continued on Wednesday as the president’s spokesman said that the government respects the Holy Synod’s concerns, but also artistic freedom.
“We respect the views of the Holy Synod and others who disagree with the title of the song which will represent Cyprus in this year’s Eurovision contest,” Victoras Papadopoulos, director of the press office of President Nicos Anastasiades, said on Wednesday.
“At the same time, however, the government fully respects creative intellectual and artistic freedom that cannot be misinterpreted or limited due to the title of a song,” he said.
Papadopoulos’ comments follow the Holy Synod’s call on Tuesday for Cyprus’ entry to the contest to be rescinded.
El Diablo, performed by Greek singer Elena Tsagrinou, has caused a storm amongst some Christian conservatives who claim the song promotes satanism and other un-Christian values.
Many others were surprised at the strong reaction against the song, with some saying that the competition is generally a light-hearted event which is not to be taken that seriously.
The Holy Synod said that the song has led to: “global ridicule by presenting the proclamation that we surrender ourselves to the devil and that in this way we promote his worship.”
“It is essentially a glorification of a fatalistic submission and surrender of man to the power of the devil.”
CyBC said in response to detractors that it had no intention of withdrawing the song. It said that the song is about the eternal struggle between good and evil.
On Saturday, a man entered the premises of state broadcaster CyBC and started calling the staff “atheists” and screaming insults against “their gods”.
With almost 700,000 views on YouTube, El Diablo appears to have generally been favourably received by international audiences and apparently trended for some users in Spain.