Czech Premier Not Happy to Attend Mandela Funeral

By: News Staff Email
By: News Staff Email
Many world leaders have said they wouldn

AP Photo

December 7, 2013

PRAGUE (AP) - Many world leaders have said they wouldn't miss Nelson Mandela's funeral for anything, but Czech Prime Minister Jiri Rusnok isn't among them.

Rusnok's conversation with Defense Minister Vlastimil Picek in parliament on Friday was broadcast by the Czech public television news channel.

When Picek reminded him that President Milos Zeman might be unable to fly due to a knee injury, Rusnok reacted with a vulgar term.

Addressing his companion by the Czech equivalent of "dude," Rusnok said: "I'm dreading that I will have to go."

He complained that he had other plans - a lunch and a dinner- and that a South Africa trip would be too long.

The recording became widely popular in local media Saturday and on Internet.

"I apologize for those words," Rusnok said in a statement sent to The Associated Press by his spokeswoman Jana Jaburkova on Saturday. "It was not right to use such terms in connection with the death of Nelson Mandela."

Rusnok said it would be difficult for him to find time for unexpected events in his busy December schedule. He said it will be decided in next few days who will represent the Czech Republic at Mandela's Dec. 15 funeral.

Mandela visited Prague in 1992 to meet with then-President Vaclav Havel who had led the 1989 Velvet Revolution that ended 40 years of communism in his country. The two leaders had both spent years in prison for opposing repressive regimes before becoming presidents. They reportedly became good friends.

Havel died in 2011.


The comments sections of Newsplex.com are designed for thoughtful, intelligent conversation and debate. We want to hear from our viewers, but we ask that you follow our rules for commenting. E-mail is required to comment on a story, but it will not be displayed with your comment. For complete rules, CLICK HERE. The Newsplex reserves the right to not post or to remove any comment.
powered by Disqus
The Charlottesville Newsplex 999 2nd Street S.E. Charlottesville, VA 22902 434.242.1919 – Main 434.220.7522 - Newsroom
Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 234903011 - newsplex.com/a?a=234903011
Gray Television, Inc.