Sassoli lies in state in Rome

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European parliament president David Sassoli, who died in the early hours of Tuesday, is to receive a state funeral in Rome on Friday.

This follows the green light from the Italian cabinet on Wednesday morning.

Sassoli’s body from Thursday will lie in state at Rome city hall from 10.00 to 18.00, and the funeral service will be held at noon on Friday in the Basilica di S. Maria degli Angeli, in Piazza della Repubblica.

The presidents of the European Commission and the European Council – Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel – will attend the funeral which will be celebrated by Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, a school friend of Sassoli, according to the Avvenire newspaper of the Italian bishops’ conference.

The Italian former journalist and centre-left politician had been seriously ill for more than two weeks and cancelled all official activities.

Sassoli was admitted to hospital in Italy last month due to a serious complication with his immune system and died this week aged 65.

His role is seen as one of the EU’s top jobs, and includes overseeing parliament’s activities.

EU flags in Brussels have been lowered to fly at half-mast in his memory. Leaders and officials from around Europe have been reflecting on his life and work.

Photo – Late President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli’s coffin at Protomoteca in Campidoglio, Rome, Italy, 13 January 2022. Late David Sassoli will lie in state at the Rome city hall ahead of the state funeral on 14 January. European Parliament President David Sassoli has died at the age of 65 early morning on 11 January in Aviano, Italy where he was hospitalized, his spokesman announced. EPA-EFE/CLAUDIO PERI

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