Italy says goodbye to Sassoli with State funeral

Von der Leyen, Sanchez, Mattarella, Draghi attend ceremony

14 January, 12:48

    (ANSA) - ROME, JAN 14 - Italy on Friday said goodbye to European Parliament President David Sassoli with a State funeral at Rome's Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri Church.

    The Florence-born journalist-turned-politician died at the age of 65 on Tuesday after being hospitalized on December 26 with serious complications related to an immune-system dysfunction.

    European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel, Italian President Sergio Mattarella, Premier Mario Draghi and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez were among the officials attending the funeral.

    Sassoli's coffin was carried into the church draped in the flag of the EU.

    A political science graduate from Rome University, Sassoli worked for several newspapers before joining RAI in 1992.

    He worked his way up the State broadcaster and became a news reader for its flagship TG1 news show.

    He entered the political fray in 2009, getting elected as an MEP for the centre-left Democratic Party (PD).

    He was elected president of the European Parliament in 2019 (ANSA).

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