New European Parliament President Pledges to Oppose Those Harming 'European Project'
© PATRICK HERTZOGThe new head of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola makes a speech following her election in the European Parliament, in Strasbourg, eastern France on January 18, 2022.
© PATRICK HERTZOG
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Newly elected President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola said on Tuesday that she will stand firmly against those opposing what she described as the "European project."
"I will stand against anybody who wants to destroy the European project. They will find me and this house behind them in doing precisely that," Metsola said during a press conference, reaffirming the strong position of the European Parliament against authoritarian regimes, and saying that dictators would not divide Europe.
The newly elected president also paid tribute to her deceased predecessor, David Sassoli, to whom she was a vice president, expressing condolences to his family and friends.
"He was a great European and our thoughts will continue to be with his family and his friends in these difficult times," Metsola added.
On 11 January, Sassoli's spokesman announced his death at the cancer centre in the Italian city of Aviano. The late head of the EU legislature was hospitalised on 26 December due to a serious complication relating to immune system dysfunction.
Metsola, a Maltese member of the European Parliament from the centre-right European People's Party, was elected to succeed Sassoli on 18 January, becoming the third woman to occupy the high-ranking position.
Metsola has also drawn criticism from some of her colleagues for her anti-abortion views, prevalent in Malta, the last EU country where abortion is still illegal. However, since taking office, the newly elected president vowed that her personal views would not contradict the position of the bloc's parliament.