Slovakia: Prime Minister Robert Fico injured by gunfire

Slovakia: Prime Minister Robert Fico injured by gunfire

The Prime Minister of Slovakia, Robert Fico, wants to speak to citizens after a meeting when shots are fired. He is critically injured. Just a few days ago, the left-wing populist politician warned of impending acts of violence.

Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico was shot and injured after a cabinet meeting in the town of Handlova. He was taken to a hospital, the Slovak news agency TASR reported on Wednesday, citing the deputy leader of Fico’s Smer party, Lubos Blaha. According to TASR information, several shots were heard. The attacker was reportedly arrested. The exact background was initially unclear.

Operation continues after shots fired at Prime Minister of Slovakia

The emergency services told TASR that a helicopter with an emergency doctor was sent to Fico after the incident. The police evacuated the cultural center where the government meeting was held.

According to the government office, Robert Fico’s life is in danger, as the Slovak portal “summarizes. He was hit in the abdomen. “At the moment he is being transported by helicopter to Banská Bystrica because it would take too long due to the need for an acute intervention, to come to Bratislava. The next few hours will decide.”

A spokeswoman for a hospital in the city wrote to the Reuters news agency by email that Fico was responsive when he was admitted.

According to the newspaper “Dennik N”, the attacker was arrested. A Reuters employee said he heard several gunshots and saw a man being arrested by police. The arrested man was taken into a car by security forces and driven away. A video published by several online media showed companions rushing the injured man into a car to temporarily bring him to safety.

The video shows the suspected attacker being arrested on the other side of a barrier. According to media reports, the attacker is said to be a 71-year-old man. The information was initially not officially confirmed.

Dismayed reactions

Slovak President Zuzana Caputova condemned the “brutal and ruthless attack.” According to the hospital management in Handlova, Fico should be transferred to the capital Bratislava.

A few days ago, Fico accused the liberal opposition of creating a climate of hostility against the government. It cannot be ruled out that an act of violence will occur at some point in such a climate.

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has condemned the attack on Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico as “despicable”. “Such acts of violence have no place in our society and undermine democracy, our greatest common good,” she wrote on the platform X. Her thoughts are with Fico and his family.

EU Council President Charles Michel was shocked by the attack. Violence and such attacks cannot be justified by anything, he commented on X.

Habeck mentions Fico in the Bundestag

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) also strongly condemned the shooting of Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico. “The news of the cowardly assassination attempt on Slovakian Prime Minister Fico shocks me greatly,” he wrote on Slovakia.”

Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck (Greens) was also concerned. At the start of a speech in the Bundestag on Wednesday, the Federal Minister of Economics wished everyone a “get well soon” and called for verbal disarmament. Those who identify as belonging to the democratic spectrum should “weigh their words carefully.” Especially with regard to the AfD, Habeck warned that “words lead to actions and that these actions usually have a spiritual preparation.”

This article will be continually updated.

Source: Stern

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