A Romanian singer has been fined for omitting a line from the national anthem in protest at the politicizing of the song, state media reported Wednesday.
Agerpres news agency reported that the Bucharest prefect Mihai Atanasoaei on Wednesday fined singer Marcel Pavel and the Romanian Football Federation US$1,685 (5,000 lei) each. The Federation was fined for its role in managing the pre-match entertainment.
The dustup involved Pavel's performance of the anthem prior to a football match between Romania and France this week, in which Pavel left out the line "Triumphant in battle, his name was Traian."
The anthem refers to the 1st century Roman Emperor Trajan, who conquered the Dacians, the forefathers of modern-day Romanians. But the singer told Realitatea TV it could be interpreted to refer to President Traian Basescu.
Trajan and Traian are the same names. Only in the Romanian language, the name Trajan is written Traian.
Pavel initially said that he left the line out because he did not want the anthem to be seen in a political light. He has since been publicly criticized by the president's daughter, an MEP, on Twitter.
Pavel later told online publication Gandul.net that he would consult with his lawyer to determine whether he had broken the law by defiling a national symbol, such as the flag or the national anthem, and would pay the fine if he had.