Cyprus broadcaster airs ex-leader's message in New Year blunder

Demetris Christofias addresses a news conference after a European Union leaders summit in Brussels December 14, 2012. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

NICOSIA (Reuters) - Cyprus's public broadcaster inadvertently broadcast the opening seconds of an old New Year's message from the country's former leader instead of from President Nicos Anastasiades, prompting an embarrassed apology on Thursday.

The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation (CyBC) said it had realized its mistake within seconds of the broadcast going out on the afternoon of December 31 and had halted transmission of the address from former president Demetris Christofias.

The broadcaster is now conducting an internal inquiry into the "very serious" error, CyBC said in a statement carried by the Cyprus News Agency.

Christofias bowed out after Anastasiades won an election in February 2013.

(Writing by Michele Kambas; Editing by Gareth Jones)

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