President of the European Parliament, Italian Social Democrat David Sosoli, 65, died at dawn and was hailed as the “Champion of Democracy” this Tuesday. By MEPs and camp leaders.
“David Sasoli died at 1:15 am on January 11 at the CRO (Cancer Reference Center) in Aviono, Italy, where he was admitted to the hospital” Since the end of December, his spokesman Roberto Guillo announced on Twitter.
“The date and place of the funeral will be announced in the next few hours,” he added.
On Monday afternoon, Guillo’s team announced that Sasoli had been hospitalized in Italy since December 26 due to “malfunction of his immune system”..
Sasoli, who suffered from leukemia last year, was again hospitalized with pneumonia, which kept him out of parliamentary proceedings for several weeks.
“A true and passionate European, his human warmth, his generosity, his kindness and his smile are already missing us.”, Charles Michael, President of the European Council, responded on Tuesday.
For his part, the President of the European Commission, Ursula van der Leyen said on Twitter that she was “very saddened” by Sasoli’s death.
“I am deeply saddened by the loss of a great European and proud Italian, a caring journalist, extraordinary Speaker of the European Parliament and, above all, a friend.”, señal van der Leyen.
Meanwhile, conservative Maltese euro-legislator Robert Metzola, considered the successor to Sassoli as president of the European Parliament, said he was “heartbroken”.
“My heart is broken. Europe has lost a leader, I have lost a friend, democracy has lost a champion.” Metsola mentioned on Twitter.
“We remember the leader of democracy and the defender of Europe. You were bright, generous and happy.”
Franz Timmermans, vice president of the European Commission, called Sassoli’s honor “an inspiration to all.”
– One step aside –
The decree of this former journalist and television news anchor in Italy began in 2019 and expired this month in the middle of the five-year European Assembly.
The election for his successor was scheduled for January 18.
In mid-December, the Social Democrats (the second largest parliamentary force) announced that they were dropping the candidacy, and the right-wing candidate, Maltese Metzola, opened the door to the company’s current first vice president.
European MP since 2009 Sassoli was elected chair of the chamber in July 2019 following an agreement to distribute key leadership responsibilities of the EU between the three major organizations.
With this agreement, the right-wingers won the presidency of the European Commission with van der Leyen, the central liberals with the leadership of the Council of Europe, Charles Michael, and the Social Democrats with the parliament.
His mandate was marked by a health crisis that forced the European Parliament, the only social body directly elected, to work remotely.
During this time Sasoli abandoned the vacant premises of Parliament in Strasbourg and Brussels to prepare food for the needy and to establish a testing center for the Govt-19.
In mid-November, Sasoli received “unanimous support” from his team to run for a second term. But then he refrained from officially declaring himself a candidate and his health filled his candidacy with uncertainty.
“We are not here to talk about myself. I am in the service of my team ”, He wisely declared the Social Democratic MEPs on that occasion.
(With information from AFP)