Italy bids farewell to EU parliament chief at state funeral By Reuters

© Reuters. Pallbearers carry the casket of European Parliament President David Sassoli throughout his funeral at Rome’s Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels and of the Martyrs, in Rome, Italy, January 14, 2022. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane


ROME (Reuters) – Italy held a state funeral on Friday for European Parliament President David Sassoli, with Italian and European Union leaders becoming a member of household and associates for a service in a Rome basilica.

“I’ve had a great life, a particularly good life, even when a bit difficult, and to finish it at 65 is admittedly too early,” Sassoli’s spouse, Alessandra Vittorini, quoted her husband as saying shortly earlier than his dying.

Pals mentioned he had undergone a bone marrow transplant 10 years in the past and suffered renewed issues late final yr associated to his immune system. He died in a most cancers clinic in northeastern Italy on Tuesday.

European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel, Italian President Sergio Mattarella, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and his Spanish counterpart Pedro Sanchez had been among the many mourners on Friday.

Sassoli’s coffin was draped within the European flag because it entered the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels and of the Martyrs, with the Italian army offering a guard of honour.

“He needed a united Europe with core values, and he served to make the establishments work. Not ideologies however beliefs, not calculations however a imaginative and prescient,” Italian Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, a childhood buddy of Sassoli, mentioned in his homily on the service.

“All of us carry in our hearts David’s virtually shy smile,” he added.

Initially a TV journalist, Sassoli switched to politics in 2009, profitable election that yr to the European Parliament, representing the centre-left Democratic Occasion. He had been president of the 705-seat EU meeting since July 2019 and his time period had been attributable to finish this month.

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