European Parliament President Sassoli dies aged 65

European Parliament President David Sassoli has died at the age of 65, his spokesman says.

Mr Sassoli was admitted to hospital in Italy last month due to a serious complication with his immune system.

The Italian former journalist and centre-left politician was seriously ill for more than two weeks and cancelled all official activities.

He died in the early hours of Tuesday in hospital in Aviano, Italy, his spokesman, Roberto Cuillo, announced.

In September, Mr Sassoli was taken to hospital in Strasbourg where he was treated for a severe case of pneumonia.

The former newsreader became president of the 705-seat European Parliament in July 2019.

He beat three other candidates to the role, and in a speech following his victory he called for the EU to return to the spirit of its founding fathers who swapped warfare and nationalism for peace and equality.

Mr Sassoli left journalism and became a member of the European Parliament (MEP) in 2009.

He was a member of the centre-left Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, the second-biggest grouping in the parliament.

“What a big shock and a big loss. I am deeply saddened,” MEP Ismail Ertug wrote on Twitter.

Another MEP, Paolo Borchia, expressed condolences to Mr Sassoli’s family and said the news had left him “stunned”.


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