EU flags at half-mast for Polish presidentApril 12th, 2010 - 12:54 am ICT by IANS
Brussels, April 11 (DPA) The flags at the European Union’s headquarters flew at half-mast Sunday in honour of Poland’s president and over 90 other top officials, who died in an air crash.
The crash outside the Russian city of Smolensk Saturday sent shockwaves across the EU. Poland joined the bloc in 2004, and President Lech Kaczynski represented it at a string of EU summits.
The right-wing president was a controversial figure in Brussels, noted for his aggressive rhetoric and occasional undiplomatic outbursts.
But his death alongside a host of elite Polish political and military figures, as they were about commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Soviet massacre of Poland’s inter-war leaders in the forest of Katyn, was widely mourned.
The three presidents of the EU - European Parliament chief Jerzy Buzek, European Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso and the leader of the council of EU member states, Herman Van Rompuy - all sent messages of sympathy to Poland on Saturday.
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