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Government admits faux pas in EU campaign

DEPUTY prime minister for European integration Pál Csáky admitted on April 28 that the government had made "a faux pas" after it had to withdraw the anthem for its EU referendum campaign because of copyright infringement.

The song, Europa, a hit in Hungary back in the 1980s, was to have been used as an unofficial anthem (with changed lyrics) for the May 16-17 referendum on Slovakia's entry into the EU.

Its composer, Hungarian Mihály Varga, said he was surprised that the song was to be used without his permission. Neither he nor the singer of the original version, Miklós Varga, were asked for permission to use the song and change the lyrics, and he forbids any use of the song without written consent.

According to Csáky, it was Slovak Radio general director Jaroslav Rezník who came up with the idea to record the Euroanthem as part of the referendum campaign. They worked on the project together, he said, and the song was recorded in the process.

"We didn't mean to steal anyone's song or jeopardise his copyright," said Csáky.

Csáky said the recording of Europa had not been paid for by the state and confirmed that no new song would be enlisted for the campaign.

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