The President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, suffered from a “serious complication” related to his immune system for several weeks and died in hospital on Tuesday morning
Image: POOL / AFP via Getty Images)
European Parliament President David Sassoli died Tuesday in a hospital in Italy where he was seriously ill for over two weeks.
The 65-year-old Italian was hospitalized on December 26 for an immune system disorder.
His spokesman Roberto Cuillo announced on Tuesday morning that he died at 1:15 a.m.
“David Sassoli died at 1:15 am on January 11th at the CRO in Aviano, Italy, where he was hospitalized,” tweeted Mr Cuillo.
“The date and place of the funeral will be announced in the next few hours.”
Sassoli, an Italian socialist and former journalist from Florence, was hospitalized last month for a “serious complication” related to his immune system, his office said Monday.
He had already been admitted for several weeks last September with pneumonia.
He has been President of the 705-seat parliament since 2019.
In his inaugural address, Sassoli urged Europeans to counter the “virus” of extreme nationalism and called for a reform of EU rules on migration and political asylum.
His term in the mostly ceremonial role was due to end this month.
Due to illness, he was unable to chair the Strasbourg Parliament in the past few weeks and missed the EU Commission’s annual registry office event in September.
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After a three-decade career as an Italian journalist, who first started with newspapers, then switched to television and became a nationally known presenter, Sassoli became a member of the European Parliament in 2009 and a spokesman in 2019.
He was a member of the center-left Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, the second largest group in Parliament after the center-right European People’s Party.
Although his role was that of speaker, he had the title of President of the European Legislative Body. His arrival at the Chamber was traditionally announced in Italian as “Il Presidente”.
Unlike some EU officials who speak English and French at public appearances, Sassoli had emphasized Italian.
On Tuesday next week, the MPs are expected to hold the first ballot on his successor.