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Victim of an attack, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico is “between life and death”

Photo: Ludovic Marin Agence France-Presse The events occurred in front of the local House of Culture, where the Slovak Prime Minister, Robert Fico, had come to meet his supporters.

Agence France-Presse and Associated Press to Bratislava

Published at 9:45 a.m. Updated at 11:15 a.m.

  • Europe

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico is “between life and death” after being shot several times on Wednesday after a cabinet meeting, the central European country's government said.

Robert Fico — a populist named prime minister last year and whose ally was recently elected president — finds himself “between life and death,” according to the government.

According to his official Facebook page, he was shot “several times”.

“He is currently transported by helicopter to Banska Bystrica”, a town in central Slovakia, the government further clarified in a press release.

According to TA3, a Slovak television channel, the 59-year-old man was shot in the stomach after four shots were fired outside the House of Culture in the town of Handlova, some 150 kilometers northeast of the capital, where the head of government met his supporters.

The attack came after a cabinet meeting in Handlova, according to the newspaper Dennik N, including a reporter saw the head of government taken away in a car by bodyguards. According to the newspaper, the suspected shooter was apprehended by the police.

“Today, after a government meeting in Handlova, there was an assassination attempt on the Prime Minister,” the government confirmed.

“We confirm the attack on the Prime Minister,” police spokesperson Matej Neumann also told AFP.

Mr. Fico was first transported to Handlova hospital, in the “vascular surgery unit”, the director of the establishment, Marta Eckhardtova, told AFP, who did not give details on the nature of his injuries.

The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Lubos Blaha, confirmed the incident during a session of the Slovak Parliament and adjourned it until 'until further notice, said the Slovak news agency TASR.

Slovak President Zuzana Caputova condemned the “brutal and irresponsible” attack. ” I am shocked. I wish Robert Fico a lot of strength in this critical moment to recover from this “brutal and irresponsible” attack, said the outgoing president in a press release.

Slovakia's main opposition parties, Progressive Slovakia and Freedom and Solidarity, have canceled a planned demonstration to protest a controversial government plan to overhaul public broadcasting which they say would give the government full control of radio and television. public television.

“We absolutely and strongly condemn the violence and shooting of Prime Minister Robert Fico today,” said Michal Simecka, leader of the from Progressive Slovakia. At the same time, we call on all politicians to refrain from any expression or approach that could contribute to further increasing tension. »

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Concert of denunciations

Mr. Fico, prime minister for the third time, and his left-wing Smer (Directorate) party won Slovakia's September 30 parliamentary elections, returning to the political spotlight after campaigning on a pro-Russian message and anti-American.

His detractors feared that Mr. Fico's Slovakia would abandon its pro-Western orientation and align itself with the populist prime minister's Hungary Viktor Orbán.

Thousands of people rallied repeatedly in the capital and across Slovakia to protest Mr. Fico's policies.

European leaders quickly condemned the political violence, although no motive for the attack immediately emerged.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen denounced a “despicable attack.” “Such acts of violence have no place in our society and undermine democracy, our most precious common good. My thoughts are with Prime Minister Fico and his family,” the German official wrote on X.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said he was “shattered by the cowardly attack” on Fico following reports of his gunshot wound. “Violence can have no place in European politics. In these hours, my thoughts are with Robert Fico, the family and the citizens of Slovakia,” he added on shocked by the heinous attack perpetrated against my friend, Prime Minister Robert Fico”, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban wrote on X, saying “pray for his health and speedy recovery”.

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala called the incident “shocking,” adding: “I wish the prime minister a speedy recovery. We cannot tolerate violence, it has no place in society. »

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk wrote on the social network X: “Shocking news from Slovakia. Robert, my thoughts are with you at this very difficult time.”

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said he was “shocked and dismayed” after the attack. “I wish him the strength for a speedy recovery,” Mr. Stoltenberg wrote on , Ukrainian President Volodymyr M. Zelensky also commented on X. “We strongly condemn this act of violence against the head of government of a neighboring partner state.”

Further details will follow.

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