David Sassoli, the European Parliament President and Italian social democrat, has died overnight in Italy at the age of 65, his spokesperson has said.
“The @EP_President David Sassoli passed away at 1.15 am on 11 January at the CRO in Aviano (PN), Italy, where he was hospitalized. The date and place of the funeral will be communicated in the next few hours,” David Cuillo posted on Twitter.
The spokesperson had announced on Monday afternoon that Sassoli had been in hospital since December 26 “because of a serious complication due to a disfunction of the immune system” and that all official activities had been cancelled.
Having suffered in the past from leukaemia, Sassoli was struck bya severe case of pneumonia in September during a plenary session of the Parliament and had to be hospitalised. He returned to Italy to recover but had a relapse that kept him away from his duties for a while.
He was absent again in Novemberafter medical tests related to a case of Legionnaires’ disease.
A former television news presenter in Italy, Sassoli’s mandate as head of the European Parliament was due to expire this month, half-way through the five-year legislative term which began in 2019.