Raw Politics in full: Parliament president chosen, Sea-Watch captain charges dropped

 Comments
Newly-elected European Parliament President David-Maria Sassoli delivers a speech after being elected during the first plenary session of the newly elected European Assembly.
Newly-elected European Parliament President David-Maria Sassoli delivers a speech after being elected during the first plenary session of the newly elected European Assembly. -
Copyright
REUTERS/Vincent Kessler
Text size Aa Aa

MEPs elect Italian Socialist as European Parliament president

MEPs voted Italian Socialist David Sassoli as the new European Parliament President in Strasbourg on Wednesday.

Sassoli won the majority vote after two rounds of ballots. He will lead the assembly for the next 2.5 years.

In his first speech after the election, he warned against a return to nationalism and urged Europe to speak with a single voice.

Charges lifted for German captain carrying migrants

Sea-Watch Captain Carola Rackete, who disobeyed orders not to dock in Italy while carrying migrants from the Mediterranean, was cleared of charges.

The Germain captain was arrested and charged with endangering lives after her vessel hit a patrol boat while illegally docking in Lampedusa, Italy.

However, an Italian court ruled that she had been carrying out her duty to protect life and released her from house arrest.

The decision angered Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, who has taken a tough stance on migration by closing Italian waters to migrant rescue ships. He used Facebook to attack the ruling.

“Very bad signal, judge," he said. "If any judge wants to play politics, we have to be clear. We are in a democracy."

Rackete still faces charges of aiding illegal migration, which could come with a 15-year prison sentence.