David Sassoli, president of European Parliament dies aged 65

Sassoli died at a hospital in Italy. Photo: Olaf Kosinsky, CC BY-SA 3.0-de/ Wikipedia

David Sassoli, President of the European Parliament, died Tuesday morning in Aviano, Italy. He was 65 years old.

The former journalist and center-left politician from Italy had been gravely ill for over two weeks and had canceled all official engagements.

"David Sassoli, President of the European Parliament, died at 1:15 a.m. on January 11 in a hospital in Aviano, Italy, where he was being treated," Roberto Cuillo wrote on Twitter.

Sassoli has been hospitalized since December 26 "due to a serious complication caused by immune system dysfunction," his office stated in a statement Monday.

Sassoli was admitted to a Strasbourg hospital in September for treatment of a severe case of pneumonia. In November, he resumed his political duties.

Sassoli began his career as a journalist, first in newspapers and then television. He was elected to the European Parliament for the first time in 2009 as a member of Italy's center-left Democratic Party, a member of the Parliament's more prominent Socialists and Democrats group.

Sassoli's tributes

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, commented on Twitter: "I am deeply saddened by the tragic loss of a great European and proud Italian." David Sassoli was an empathetic journalist, an exemplary President of the European Parliament, and, above all, a beloved friend. My heart goes out to his family."

Roberta Metsola, a Maltese MEP standing as the conservative European People's Party's presidential candidate, tweeted: "I am heartbroken." Europe has lost a leader, I have lost a friend, and democracy has lost a champion," he continued, noting that Sassoli "committed his life to make the world a better, more equitable place."

President of the European Council Charles Michel expressed his sadness and emotion at the news of Sassoli's death, saying, "We already miss his human warmth, generosity, friendliness, and smile."

"I am shocked and saddened by David Sassoli's untimely death," Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis remarked. His vision of Europe as a global light of peace and democracy will perpetuate as a legacy. We lament the passing of this extraordinary Italian and proud European."

Publish : 2022-01-11 18:34:00

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