Europe

Marco Pannella, maverick in Italian postwar politics, dies

  • FILE -  In this Saturday, Aug. 12, 2006 file photo, Italian Radical Party Marco Pannella smokes a cigar during a press conference at his party headquarters in Rome. Marco Pannella, the maverick radical politician who was crucial to Italian post-war campaigns to legalize abortion and other social change, has died. He was 86.  (AP Photo/Plinio Lepri, File)

    FILE - In this Saturday, Aug. 12, 2006 file photo, Italian Radical Party Marco Pannella smokes a cigar during a press conference at his party headquarters in Rome. Marco Pannella, the maverick radical politician who was crucial to Italian post-war campaigns to legalize abortion and other social change, has died. He was 86. (AP Photo/Plinio Lepri, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Saturday, Oct. 22, 2005 file photo,  Marco Pannella, leader of Italian Radical Party, delivers his address at the Nuovo PSI new Italian Socialist Party congress in Rome . Marco Pannella, the maverick radical politician who was crucial to Italian post-war campaigns to legalize abortion and other social change, has died Thursday, May 19, 2006. He was 86. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito, File)

    FILE - In this Saturday, Oct. 22, 2005 file photo, Marco Pannella, leader of Italian Radical Party, delivers his address at the Nuovo PSI new Italian Socialist Party congress in Rome . Marco Pannella, the maverick radical politician who was crucial to Italian post-war campaigns to legalize abortion and other social change, has died Thursday, May 19, 2006. He was 86. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Friday, Jan. 12, 2007 Radical party leader Marco Pannella smokes a cigarette in Caserta, Italy.  Radio station of radical Marco Pannella says the maverick Italian politician has died. He was 86. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino, File)

    FILE - In this Friday, Jan. 12, 2007 Radical party leader Marco Pannella smokes a cigarette in Caserta, Italy. Radio station of radical Marco Pannella says the maverick Italian politician has died. He was 86. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino, File)  (The Associated Press)

Marco Pannella, the maverick radical politician who was crucial to Italian postwar campaigns to legalize abortion and other social change, has died. He was 86.

Radio Radicale, the radio station of Pannella's political party, announced the death on Thursday. Pannella, who was known for his frequent hunger strikes, anti-church positions and sit-ins, had been hospitalized at a Rome clinic in recent days.

Premier Matteo Renzi eulogized the grizzled veteran politician as a "lion of freedom."