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Slovakia suspended by the “still serious” state of health of its Prime Minister

Photo: Denes Erdos Associated Press A Slovak journalist gives the latest news on Robert Fico's state of health in front of the F. D. Roosevelt Hospital, where he remains hospitalized.

David Stout – Agence France-Presse to Banska Bystrica

Published at 10:20 a.m.

  • Europe

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico, seriously injured by bullets on Wednesday, was “operated again” and is still in serious condition, a situation which plunges the country into uncertainty three weeks before European elections.

Two days after the attack while greeting his supporters in central Slovakia, the 59-year-old leader remains hospitalized in intensive care.

“He underwent an operation lasting almost two hours,” said his close ally Robert Kalinak, during a press briefing at Banska Bystrica hospital. “His condition is still very serious. It will probably take a few days to see how this develops,” according to the Minister of Defense.

“He can speak, but only to say a few sentences,” declared President-elect Peter Pellegrini on Thursday, after speaking “for a few minutes” with him. “He is very, very tired.”

He also indicated that a medical council would meet on Monday to decide on future treatment.

They “will decide whether he continues to be treated in Banska Bystrica or whether it is possible to transport him closer to his place of residence” in Bratislava, Mr. Pellegrini told the TA3 news channel on Thursday evening.

He added that Mr. Fico remained conscious after the attack.

“He remembers the beatings fire, he was surprised that this could happen and how quickly it happened,” he said.

Home searched

The investigation continues at the same time to learn more about the motivations of the suspect, identified by the media as a 71-year-old retiree, Juraj Cintula.

Charged Thursday with attempted premeditated murder, his profile does not really fit with the radical nature of his action.

An amateur writer, he founded a movement “against violence”. But he also appears as an angry citizen who has visibly decided to take action, “unhappy” with the results of the April presidential election which crowned Peter Pellegrini, a close friend of Robert Fico.

In search of clues, the police searched the home of the alleged assailant on Friday, in the town of Levice, located 80 km from the scene of the tragedy.

Wearing a bulletproof vest and a helmet, he was escorted by investigators into the home he shared with his wife, according to images from the Markiza television channel.< /p>

“The police stayed in the apartment for several hours […], they took away the computer and documents from the apartment,” the private channel said.

Questioned by AFP, the police refused to comment on the ongoing investigation.

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This attack shocked Slovakia and raised fears of further violence in this extremely polarized country, a few weeks before the European elections.

“Even if Robert Fico is recovering”, he will probably be absent “for months”, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said in a radio interview on Friday, praying for his “friend”.

However, this is a “decisive” moment for the future of the European Union and “the question of war and peace”, insisted the nationalist leader, who hopes to upset the balance of the European Parliament to stop “war fever” from Brussels.

After Mr. Fico returned to power in October, Slovakia changed course, ending military aid to neighboring Ukraine and pleading, like Mr. Orban, for peace talks with Russia.

“We really need Robert Fico and a supportive Slovakia to peace,” said the Hungarian leader.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116