David Sassoli dead, farewell to the President of the European Parliament. The former reporter was 65 years old

The president of the European Parliament has died David Sassoli. The former RAI journalist who had embarked on a political career was 65 Only yesterday was the news of his hospitalization in Italy due to the arrival of a severe complication due to a dysfunction of the immune system. “The President of the European Parliament David Sassoli – announced his spokesman Roberto Cuillo – he died at 1.15 am on 11 January at the CRO in Aviano (Pordenone) where he was hospitalized. In the next few hours the date and place of the funeral will be communicated “. “There has been a complication in the last few days that has dramatically worsened his health conditions,” explained Cuillo, spokesman for David Sassoli, speaking to Rainews24. In his memory of Sassoli, Cuillo recalled how the president had “lived his commitment as president of the European Parliament and his commitment as a journalist as a mission to bring the European institutions closer to the citizens. A good man, tenacious, who has fought against evil in these last days ”.

From familiar face of TG1 but even before TG3, to European parliamentarian and then president. Journalism and politics the coordinates of his life: straddling Florence, Rome and Brussels to become president of the European Parliament in 2019. Born in the Tuscan capital on May 30, 1956, he attended Agesci, the Italian Catholic Guides and Scouts Association as a young man. His father was a parishioner of Don Milani and he started working for small newspapers and press agencies at an early age before moving on to ‘Il Giorno’ and then to Rai.

Florentine by birth but Roman by adoption, he had become a familiar face to Italian families above all for his conduct of the Tg of the Rai flagship network, of which he was also deputy director during the era of Gianni Riotta. A career that ended in 2009, when Sassoli decided to devote himself to politics. Candidate as leader of the newborn Democratic Party in the central Italy constituency, the president of the EP was elected for the first time with over 400 thousand preferences and, on the strength of this success, he immediately becomes the head of the delegation of the Democratic Party to the European Parliament.

In 2013 the attempt to return to Italy as mayor of Rome runs aground in the primaries of the Democratic Party. Candidate in the French quota, Sassoli places second, beating the future Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni but getting half the votes of Ignazio Marino. After a decade spent in Brussels and Strasbourg, Sassoli – now in his third term – was one of the most experienced MEPs. In 2014-2019 he held the position of Vice-President for the entire mandate, dealing mainly with transport (the so-called third railway package), Euro-Mediterranean policy and budget.

On 3 July 2019 David Sassoli, at the beginning of his third term, was elected President of the assembly. In his opening speech, Sassoli rallied the importance of taking action to combat climate change, the need for a policy that is closer to citizens and their needs, especially to young people, and the urgent need to strengthen parliamentary democracy and promote European values. During the exceptional and unprecedented situation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, Sassoli made a commitment so that the European Parliament remained open and continued to operate, introducing – as early as March 2020 – debates and remote voting, the first parliament in the world to do so.

Married and father of two children, a Fiorentina fan, Sassoli lived in Rome but as soon as possible he moved to the house of Sutri, a delightful medieval town in Tuscia along the Via Cassia, about thirty kilometers north of the capital, to cultivate his passions for gardening and good reading. Sassoli was the second Italian president of the European Parliament after Antonio Tajani since the Strasbourg assembly was elected by universal suffrage. His office would expire in days: next week the plenary meeting of the European Parliament which will meet in Strasbourg to elect his successor.

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