The current poor relations between Italy's major representative body FIMI and the organizers of the country's flagship music event, the Sanremo Festival, show no sign of improving.

FIMI president Enzo Mazza was widely reported in the national press last week for having asked Sanremo Festival director Pippo Baudo to make a public apology.

This was after Baudo -- a veteran TV presenter -- had accused the record industry of "plotting" to prevent one of their artists, Tiromancino, from appearing at the Festival, which will be staged from Feb. 25 to March 1.

Tiromancino has decided to break off his contract with EMI and enter the event as an independent artist after the music major declined to submit his song, "Il Rubacouri" (the heart-breaker) for inclusion in the festival.

The song, which nobody outside immediate festival and EMI circles will hear until it is performed at Sanremo, is allegedly about lay-offs in the economic crisis. According to Tiromancino and Baudo, however, EMI has censured it as they see it as a reference to cuts within the country's beleaguered record industry.

"We are still waiting to hear from Baudo," Mazza tells Billboard.biz. "We seriously hope he takes back what he says as his comments are ridiculous."

Mazza describes Baudo's interpretation as a "distortion of the facts" regarding "a simple contractual dispute between an artist and his label."

A spokesperson for EMI Italy says: "There has been no censorship on our part. We will be more than happy to release Tironmancino's next studio album as soon as he is ready."

Baudo has declined to apologize and is believed to be still smarting from Mazza's comment at the start of last month that "The Sanremo Festival will be dead within five years" on account of its ageing TV audience.

For more on the FIMI, Sanremo spat, turn to this week's Billboard Magazine.

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