Status: 11.01.2022 10:55 a.m.
His term of office would soon have come to an end, and now the President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, has died. Leading politicians reacted with dismay and praised the Italian as a passionate European and a democrat.
Politicians reacted with grief to the death of the President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli. “I am deeply saddened by the terrible loss of a great European and a proud Italian,” wrote EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen on Twitter. “David Sassoli was a sensitive journalist, an excellent President of the European Parliament and, first and foremost, a good friend.”
EU Council President Charles Michel also expressed his grief and called Sassoli a sincere and passionate European. “We already miss his human warmth, his generosity, his friendliness and his smile.
Scholz: “Europe is losing a clever politician”
Chancellor Olaf Scholz said of his government spokesman on Twitter: “Europe is losing a committed President of Parliament, Italy is losing a smart politician and Germany is losing a good friend.” His thoughts are with Sassoli’s family.
Bundestag President Bärbel Bas wrote on Twitter: “With David Sassoli, a great European has passed away. My thoughts are with his family and friends.” Bas arranged for the German Bundestag to be flagged for mourning.
Draghi calls Sassoli “deeply European”
Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi paid tribute to Sassoli for his commitment in Europe. He was deeply pro-European, said the 74-year-old. Sassoli’s qualities were appreciated by everyone. “His untimely and sudden death leaves me with dismay,” he said. Draghi expressed condolences to Sassoli’s wife and the two children.
Sassoli belonged to the social democratic party Partito Democratico (PD). PD boss Enrico Letta praised Sassoli’s European passion and vision and promised to continue this, although “we know that we are not up to it”. Letta described him on Twitter as someone of extraordinary generosity, a passionate European and a man of “principles, both theoretical and practical”.
Sassoli’s successor is to be elected next week
The Maltese Roberta Metsola from the Christian Democratic EPP group, who has a good chance of succeeding Sassoli, wrote on Twitter that she was heartbroken. “Europe has lost a leader, I have lost a friend, democracy has lost a champion.”
A successor is scheduled to be elected in Strasbourg next week.