The German green leader Ska Keller asks that Oriol Junqueras can obtain his act as an MEP
Eusebio Val | Estrasburgo, Estrasburgo
03/07/2019 11:40 Actualizado a 03/07/2019 19:36
The Italian David Sassoli, of the socialist group, has been elected in second voting new president of the European Parliament after failing the first attempt. Sassoli, natural journalist from Florence, has obtained 345 votes out of a total of 667 that cast a valid vote. In his speech, in a solemn tone, he warned about the risks of nationalism and recalled that “the EU is not an incident in history.” Sassoli has put a lot of emphasis on the guarantee of fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens, on the need to respect the environment and to continue promoting women.
Sassoli, of the socialist group, has been elected on the second ballot. It has been supported by 345 deputies, against the 160 support received by the Czech conservative Jan Zahradil and the 119 votes obtained by the German green leader Ska Keller. The latter, in his brief speech to congratulate the new president, recalled the situation of Oriol Junqueras – who should be part of the same group – and urged Sassoli to take care of the case so that the Catalan MEP can see his rights restored as a parliamentarian in Strasbourg .
Nationalism has poisoned our history
The new president of the European Parliament recalled that his father fought, with 20 years, in World War II and that his mother was a refugee. “Nationalism has poisoned our history,” he stressed, and urged to be vigilant so that the same mistakes of the past are not repeated. “Nationalism produces viruses that can generate destructive conflicts,” he added.
Sassoli had words for the British MEPs. He said he respected his position on Brexit and the sovereign decision of the British people, although he admitted that “it is painful” to think that London can get away from Paris, Rome, Berlin or Madrid. He also made reference to the blood shed by British soldiers on the beaches of Normandy to free Europe from Nazism.
Social protection is part of our identity
Sassoli’s speech had a leftist tone when he addressed issues such as immigration and the management of the economy. “Social protection is part of our identity,” he said. He also emphasized that the dignity of the person is sacred, that “nobody can cover the mouths of the opposition” nor can anyone be condemned for their political or religious convictions. He noted the progress in women’s rights, but asked to go further: “It’s a good result but we want more.”
For the new president of the community legislative body, the European Parliament, and the EU in general, must be ambitious. “Nobody can be content with preserving the existing,” he said, while listing the major challenges that must be addressed in the areas of climate change, migration, the new global equilibria. It needs, according to him, “great wisdom and maximum audacity.” In the speech there was an allusion to the cultural wealth of European countries, large and small, a heritage that should be pampered because it is about guarding “unique treasures in the world.”