David Sassoli dead: European Parliament President dies after ‘serious’ health complication

David Sassoli says European Parliament ‘will not fail’ in 2021

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The centre-left politician had cancelled all official activities after the former journalist was seriously ill for over two weeks. Writing on Twitter, Mr Sassolio’s spokesperson Roberto Cuillo said: “The @EP_President David Sassoli passed away at 1.15 am on January 11 at the CRO in Aviano (PN), Italy, where he was hospitalised. The date and place of the funeral will be communicated in the next few hours.”

Mr Sassoli, who had served as President of the European Parliament from 2019 to 2022, was admitted to hospital several times in the last year.

On Monday, his office said he had been hospitalised last month due to a “serious complication” related to his immune system.

Mr Sassoli was also taken to hospital in Strasbourg in September to be treated for a severe case of pneumonia.

Following a short stay there, the 65-year-old returned to political duties in November.

As Mr Sassoli had suggested, he would not seek re-election – a vote to elect his replacement had already been scheduled this month.

Several of Mr Sassoli’s colleagues throughout Europe have taken to Twitter to pay tribute to him.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen wrote: “I am deeply saddened by the death of a great European and Italian.

“David Sassoli was a passionate journalist, an extraordinary President of the European Parliament and above all a dear friend.

“My thoughts go out to his family.

“Rest in peace, dear David.”

In a separate tweet, she also shared a picture of the two greeting each other, and repeated: “Rest in peace David, my dear friend.”

European Commission executive vice president Frans Timmermans wrote: “David Sassoli, EP president and dear friend, has died.

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“I’m at a loss for words.

“His kindness was an inspiration to all who knew him.

“My heartfelt sympathies to his family and all his loved ones. Addio amico mio.”

Former European Council President Donald Tusk tweeted: “So sad to hear about David Sassoli’s passing.

“You will always stay in my memory as a great European, a patriot, and my good friend. Rest in peace.”

European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde tweeted: “I am deeply saddened by the passing of @EP_President David Sassoli.

“David was a committed European, who put people at the heart of everything he did during his life.

“My thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues as we mourn this great loss.”

Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg wrote: “Saddened to hear of the death of @EP_President David Sassoli, a strong voice for democracy and #NATO-EU cooperation.

“My deepest condolences to his loved ones, the European Parliament and the whole EU family.”

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