EU Parliament elects conservative Maltese President

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Roberta Metsola (Partit Nazzjonalista) is the new Speaker of Parliament. © Philipp von Ditfurth/dpa

The Christian Democrat Roberta Metsola is the new President of the European Parliament.

Strasbourg – After the surprising death of the President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, the conservative Maltese Roberta Metsola was elected as the Italian’s successor. Since Sassoli’s death, the politician, who turned 43 on the day of the vote, has been the acting head of parliament. In her application speech, Metsola said she would not shy away from “difficult decisions.”

“I am a woman from a small island in the middle of the southern European sea. I know what it means to be the outsider,” Metsola told parliamentarians in Strasbourg. Metsola is the youngest President of the European Parliament in the institution’s history and the third woman to chair it.

Roberta Metsola: Controversial in Parliament

The doctor of law has been a member of the EU parliament for the Maltese Nationalist Party, which belongs to the EPP Group, since 2013. In 2020, the politician took over the post of the first of 14 vice presidents in the European Parliament.

The mother of four describes herself as a progressive advocate for LGBTQ and women’s rights. However, she is also controversial because of her negative attitude to abortions among parliamentarians.

Abortion is illegal in predominantly Catholic Malta – the smallest country in the EU. Metsola voted in June against a report calling on all member states to offer safe access to abortions.

In addition to Metsola, the Green MP Alice Bah Kuhnke from Sweden, the Left MP Sira Rego from Spain and the Polish MP Kosma Zlotowski from the EU-sceptical, national-conservative group in the European Parliament stood for election this Tuesday. (red/afp)

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