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David Sassoli, the president of the European Parliament, died early Tuesday. Let’s see more details about David Sassoli and his cause of death in detail.
- MPs will elect a new president later this month
- The Italian socialist has led the European Parliament since 2019.
What happened to David Sassoli?
On Monday, the European Parliament confirmed that he had been admitted to a hospital in Italy on December 26. In September 2021, during a plenary session of the parliament, the 65-year-old fell ill with severe pneumonia.
Sassoli, who is 65, was being cared for in Aviano, Italy, his spokesman Robert Cuyo said on Twitter. He had been hospitalized since Dec. 26 due to “a serious complication due to immune system dysfunction,” according to a statement released Monday.
He had undergone a bone marrow transplant 10 years ago and died at a cancer clinic in the northeastern city of Aviano.
The @EP_president David Sassoli died at 1.15am on 11 January at the CRO in Aviano (PN), Italy, where he had been hospitalized. The date and place of the funeral will be announced in the coming hours.
— RobertoCuillo (@robertocuillo) January 11, 2022
Cause of death
David Sassoli, the president of the European Parliament, died early Tuesday of an immune complication, according to his spokesman.
He died after a “serious complication” related to his immune system. “The date and place of the funeral will be announced in the next few hours,” he added.
He was married with two children.
Who was David Sassoli?
Sassoli, who was born in Florence, began his career as a journalist in local publications before starting work at Il Giorno. There he reports from Rome. In 1992 he moved to Italy’s national television network RAI, where he would go on to establish himself as a well-known presenter delivering the main evening news.
European Parliament President David Sassoli, an Italian socialist and former journalist, died early Tuesday in an Italian hospital, his spokesman said. He was 65.
He has been president of the 705-seat parliament since July 2019 and his term in the largely ceremonial role was due to end this month. Maltese MP Roberta Mezzola of the conservative European People’s Party (EPP) is expected to succeed him.
“Sassoli was a symbol of balance, humanity and generosity. These qualities have always been recognized by all his colleagues, from all political circles and every European country,” said Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi.
His time leading the EU Assembly was dominated by the coronavirus crisis, and he was credited with introducing a remote voting system that allowed parliament to continue working even as much of Europe was forced into repeated lockdowns
David’s career and his successor
He was tempted into politics by Walter Veltroni, a former mayor of Rome who became the first leader of the Democratic Party when it was created in 2007. Between 2009 and 2014, Sassoli was the head of the party’s delegation to the European Parliament before turn into a surprise compromise election for the president of the chamber in 2019 after the division of the major institutional tasks in the EU after the elections of the same year.
Sassoli was a member of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the chamber, the second largest grouping after the center-right European People’s Party (EPP). MEPs are expected to hold the first round of voting for his successor next week.
Tribute to David Sassoli
Honors soon poured in for Sassoli, an Italian social democrat.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz lamented his loss, saying that “Europe has lost a devoted president of parliament, Italy a shrewd politician, and Germany a good friend.”
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany, Analena Berbock praised Sassoli for “always managing to bridge divisions”.
She wrote on Twitter that “we will not forget his commitment to humane treatment of refugees.”
Der Tod von David Maria #Sassoli macht mich sehr traurig Als EP-Präsident gelang es ihm immer wieder, Gräben zu überwinden und so das Parlament als Ganzes zu stärken. Wir werden seinen überzuestten Einsatz für den menschlichen Umgang mit Geflüchteten nicht vergessen.
— Außenministerin Annalena Baerbock (@ABaerbock) January 11, 2022
EU Council President Charles Michel called the fellow politician “a sincere and passionate European. We already miss his human warmth, his generosity, friendliness and smile.”
The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen said she was “deeply saddened by the terrible loss of a great European and proud Italian”. In a post on Twitter, she described Sassoli as “a compassionate journalist, an outstanding President of the European Parliament and a dear friend”.
I am deeply saddened by the terrible loss of a great European and proud Italian.
David Sassoli was a compassionate journalist, an outstanding President of the European Parliament and above all a dear friend.
My thoughts are with his family.
Riposa in pace, caro David!
— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) January 11, 2022
“What a great shock and great loss. I am deeply saddened. He left us too soon. My condolences to his family! Dear David, rest in peace,” German MEP Ismail Ertuğ wrote on Twitter.
Another MEP, Italy’s Paolo Borchia, said he was “stunned” by the news because it was so “sudden”. A former journalist, Sassoli was first elected as a member of the European Parliament in 2009. He won another term in 2014 and served as Parliament’s vice president.
He then became president of the 705-seat legislature in 2019. Parliament sits for five-year terms between elections, but the body’s president serves half of that time, and Sassoli has indicated he will not seek re-election.
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