The President of the European Parliament, Jerzy Buzek, has sent his condolences to the Maltese people and the family and friends of the late President Guido de Marco, who died yesterday.

"Guido de Marco has led Malta into the European Union and was a highly respected politician and statesman. My thoughts are with the family of Guido de Marco and with the Maltese people.

"Guido de Marco embodied the best qualities of a modern politician: he was a true patriot who loved his country and his people and he was an open-minded and committed European statesman who was deeply respected all over Europe," Mr Buzek said.

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