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Real or fake? - 23/06/2010

Sample of counterfeit products © EU

EU competition on counterfeiting and piracy: Greek and Hungarian schools receive top prizes.

Pupils from Greece, Hungary, Spain, the Czech Republic and Poland snagged the top prizes in an EU competition on problems posed by pirated and counterfeit products like toys, clothes or CDs.

Hundreds of schoolchildren aged 10-15 participated in the contest, which involved producing logos, posters, short films or games to illustrate the issue.

Competing in one of two categories, the 1st High School of Triandria in Greece produced the winning design for the official logo of the European Observatory on Counterfeiting and Piracy.

Pupils from Vörösmarty Mihály elementary and art school in Hungary won the category for best video. In all, 6 schools, including 4 runners-up, were invited to Brussels to receive prizes at a ceremony in parliament.

Counterfeiting and piracy is a growing problem, undermining safety standards and the economy. Hazards encountered in recent years include medicines that contain harmful substances and exploding mobile phones.

In 2008, EU customs officials seized 178 million counterfeit items, up more than 50% from the previous year. About half came from China.

CDs and DVDs accounted for most of the items, followed by cigarettes and clothing.

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