Parliament's contempt for the perpetrators of the brutal bombing of a school in Brindisi, and its sympathy for the victims and their families, was voiced by President Martin Schulz in his opening of the May session on Monday. Mr Schulz also conveyed Parliament's sympathy to victims of the Emilia-Romagna earthquake.
"There used to be an unwritten rule that even the worst criminals do not kill children or young people, but increasingly, some are willing to cross that line. We have nothing but contempt for those who perpetrate such acts", said Mr Schulz.
He expressed Parliament's sympathy for the family of Melissa, who died in the blast at age 16, and conveyed its best wishes to Veronica, who was still fighting for her life, the other victims and their teachers and friends.
He noted that the school was named after Francesca Morvillo Falcone, who had been assassinated with her husband, the anti-Mafia judge Giovanni Falcone, in a cowardly and barbaric attack.
Next, Mr Schulz expressed Parliament's sympathy with the victims of an earthquake in the Emilia Romagna region, which was reported to have taken seven lives, left more than 50 injured and 3,000 homeless.
He said he had been very moved by the spontaneous demonstrations of solidarity with the victims of both tragedies in Italy and beyond.
Ms Minodora Cliveti replaces Ms Rovana Plumb (RO, S&D) with effect from 18 May 2012.
Ms Bairbre de Brún stood down as an MEP with effect from 3 May. Mr Schulz declared her seat vacant.
The debate on EU trade agreements with Colombia and Peru was moved from Thursday to Tuesday, and the report on macro-financial assistance postponed from Tuesday to Thursday.