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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 April 2005, 17:07 GMT 18:07 UK
France pulps copies of EU treaty
Books on the EU constitution
New versions are being reprinted at the cost of 74,000 euros
The French government has destroyed 162,000 copies of the EU constitution because the phrase "incoherent text" was printed on a page by mistake.

The copies had been intended for use in town halls and libraries across France.

But they were recalled after the mistake was spotted. It is not known who was responsible for inserting the offending comment.

French voters will decide on whether or not to back the EU constitution in a referendum next month.

Proofreaders failed to spot the footnote on a page containing Article 1/33 of the constitution - which relates to legislative acts.

Officials said the phrase was invisible on the screen when the disk was read into a computer.

A new, expunged version of the full 232-page text is being printed, at the cost of 74,000 euros (51,000; $95,000).

Although France's main parties back the draft constitution, the No campaign is gathering momentum in the country.


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