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Slovak media face fines for using 'Britain' instead of 'UK'

Staff Writer |
Slovak media covering the Brexit process are facing fines of up to 6,600 euros ($6,987) for using the unofficial but widely known name for the country in question, Britain, rather than the official United Kingdom.

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The news outlets have been called out by a state agency charged with enforcing uniform use of official country names in publications, based on an obscure 1995 law passed when Slovakia was just finding its feet as a newly independent nation.

The Bratislava-based Geodesy, Cartography and Cadastre Authority said it was acting on dozens of tips from readers and planned to hold a seminar on correct terminology for the media before it starts collecting fines.

A letter it sent to all Slovak media last week warned they had "repeatedly broken the law" by using "Britain" or "Great Britain" in coverage of London's planned exit from the EU rather than "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".

"Our key goal is to raise awareness, we have never fined anyone in the past but we are (now) ready to enforce the law," agency chief Maria Fridrichova said.

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