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Klaus slams EU officials over Kaczynski funeral no-show

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(PRAGUE) - Eurosceptic Czech President Vaclav Klaus slammed European Union officials for failing to attend the funeral of Poland's President Lech Kaczynski and his wife in Krakow on Sunday.

"The fact that no one from Brussels has shown up seems inexcusable to me," Klaus told the public service Czech Television in an interview after arriving in the southern Polish city by train and car.

"We have seen that all those grand phrases about European unity are really nothing but cliches," he added.

Scores of world leaders -- including European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso and EU President Herman Van Rompuy -- have excused themselves from the ceremony amid the travel chaos caused by a cloud of ash from an Icelandic volcano.

On the other hand, Jerzy Buzek, the Polish head of the European Parliament, came to the funeral by car, just like Klaus and the Slovak, Hungarian, Romanian, Lithuanian and Latvian presidents, plus the prime minister of Estonia.

Klaus was the closest ally among European politicians of the almost equally eurosceptic Kaczynski, who was killed in an April 10 plane crash in Russia along with his wife and 94 others, including leading Polish officials.


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