© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: European Parliament President David Sassoli attends a plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, November 24, 2021. Julien Warnand/Pool through REUTERS/File Photograph
BRUSSELS/ROME (Reuters) -European Parliament President David Sassoli, an Italian socialist and former journalist, died on Tuesday in hospital in Italy, his spokesperson and workplace stated. He was 65.
Sassoli died at 1.15 a.m. (0015 GMT), his spokesperson, Roberto Cuillo, stated on Twitter (NYSE:).
Sassoli had been admitted to hospital final month due to a “critical complication” associated to his immune system, his workplace had stated https://reut.rs/3K15gyq on Monday.
He had been president of the 705-seat parliament since July 2019. Sassoli, whose time period within the predominantly ceremonial function had been on account of finish this month, had stated he wouldn’t run for re-election.
Maltese lawmaker Roberta Metsola, from the conservative European Individuals’s Social gathering (EPP), is broadly anticipated to be a candidate for the publish.
European Fee President Ursula van der Leyen, who heads the European Union’s government physique, paid tribute to Sassoli, saying that she was deeply saddened by his demise.
“David Sassoli was a compassionate journalist, an impressive President of the European Parliament and, first & foremost, an expensive good friend,” she stated on Twitter.
NATO Secretary-Normal Jens Stoltenberg additionally despatched condolences.
“Saddened to listen to of the demise of EP_President David Sassoli, a powerful voice for democracy and NATO-EU cooperation,” he stated in a tweet.
Italian politicians on many sides paid tribute to Sassoli, and his demise dominated morning information reveals. Prime Minister Mario Draghi stated Sassoli’s demise was surprising and praised him as profoundly pro-European.
“Sassoli was an emblem of stability, humanity and generosity. These qualities have all the time been recognised by all his colleagues, from each political place and each European nation,” Draghi’s workplace stated in an announcement.
Former Prime Minister Enrico Letta, who heads the Democratic Social gathering, known as Sassoli “an individual of extraordinary generosity, a passionate European … a person of imaginative and prescient and ideas”.
PLEDGE TO TACKLE EXTREME NATIONALISM
In his inaugural speech, Sassoli had urged Europeans to counter the “virus” of utmost nationalism and known as for a reform of EU guidelines on migration and political asylum.
As a consequence of sickness, he had been unable to chair the Strasbourg-based parliament in current weeks and had missed the European Fee’s annual state of the union occasion in September.
Sassoli began his profession as a newspaper journalist earlier than becoming a member of Italian state broadcaster RAI, the place he grew to become a family title delivering the primary night information.
He switched to politics in 2009, becoming a member of the centre-left Democratic Social gathering and simply gained election to the European Parliament.
After a failed bid to change into mayor of Rome, he centered his consideration on European politics, working his means as much as change into president of the EU parliament in 2019.
He was stricken low with pneumonia in September 2021, forcing him to spend a number of weeks in hospital. He by no means regained full energy and needed to return to hospital in December after struggling extreme issues along with his immune system.