RTL Infos – Attempted murder: Slovak Prime Minister in stable but still “very serious” condition

RTL Infos – Attempted murder: Slovak Prime Minister in stable but still “very serious” condition
RTL Infos – Attempted murder: Slovak Prime Minister in stable but still “very serious” condition

Hit by several bullets during a trip, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico is seriously injured. But his Deputy Prime Minister is confident about his chances of survival.

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico is in stable but still condition on Thursday morning “very serious”after being shot the day before, said Deputy Prime Minister Robert Kalinak.

“This night, doctors managed to stabilize the patient’s condition”said Mr. Kalinak, who is also Defense Minister. “Unfortunately, the condition remains very serious, because his injuries are complicated”he added during a press briefing in front of the Roosevelt hospital in Banska Bystrica (center).

The 59-year-old leader suffered on Wednesday “a five-hour operation”, said the director of the establishment Miriam Lapunikova, confirming thathe is still in a state “really very serious” and will remain in intensive care.

“I think in the end he will survive.”Deputy Prime Minister Tomas Taraba told the BBC, according to whom the surgical intervention went well. “He is not in a situation that threatens his survival at the moment”he added.

Previously, Interior Minister Matus Sutaj Estok indicated, in a press conference, that he had been informed by doctors that the Prime Minister was “in critical condition.”

Robert Fico, aged 59, had been evacuated by helicopter in Banska Bystrica, a town in central Slovakia, the government said in a statement.

A political attack

According to Defense Minister Robert Kaliniak, who went to the hospital where the Prime Minister was operated on, this attack is “a political attack” to which it will be necessary “react accordingly”.

Slovak television broadcast images of a man in jeans handcuffed on the ground. The person detained and suspected is a 71-year-old man from from the center of the country, identified by Slovak media as a local writer.

“I think I can confirm it, yes”replied Interior Minister Matus Sutaj Estok to journalists who questioned him about the identity of the shooter.

The suspect’s son told news site aktuality.sk that his father had a legally registered firearm. When asked about his father’s feelings towards Robert Fico, he replied: “I’ll tell you one thing: he didn’t vote for him. That’s all I can say.”

Mr. Fico was shot “several times”, according to its official Facebook page. The attempted murder came after a cabinet meeting in Handlova, central Slovakia.

“The police have arrested the attacker and will provide more information as quickly as possible”also announced in a press release the outgoing president of Slovakia, Zuzana Caputova, describing the aggression of her political opponent as“attack on democracy”.

Robert Fico, a pro-Putin ex-communist

After returning to power as Prime Minister in October, Robert Fico questioned Ukraine’s sovereignty and stopped all military aid to the country.

This former member of the Communist Party, who founded his own group and rejects the labels of “populist” and of “demagogue”opposed sanctions against Russia.

In April, he nevertheless made a change in his face to the war in Ukraine, advocating a peaceful solution that respects “territorial integrity” from this country.

His ally in the government, Peter Pellegrini, won the presidential election last month, well ahead of a pro-European diplomat, by making the war in Ukraine a key element of the campaign in this country of 5.4 million inhabitants, member of the European Union and NATO.

Its government coalition notably adopted a controversial bill on public radio and television RTVS which the government accuses of lacking objectivity

Strong emotion in Europe

The leaders of the European Union institutions reacted strongly to the news.

Luxembourg Prime Minister Luc Frieden is deeply shocked and emphasizes in a statement on X that such violence has no place in our democratic society. He wishes the Prime Minister a speedy recovery and his thoughts are with him and his family.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen deplored “the despicable attack” against the Slovak Prime Minister, ruling that “Such acts of violence have no place in our society and undermine democracy, our most precious common good.”

“Nothing can ever justify violence or such attacks”underlined the President of the European Council Charles Michel, while the Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg declared “dismayed”.

In Hungary, bordering Slovakia, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said he “deeply shocked by the heinous attack perpetrated against my friend, Prime Minister Robert Fico”.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky denounced the attack “terrible” against the Slovak Prime Minister. And Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke of a “heinous crime”, when describing Robert Fico “like a courageous and determined man”.

French President Emmanuel Macron said he “shocked by the shots that hit the Slovak Prime Minister” and expressed his “solidarity” for the Slovak people.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, for his part, said “upset by the cowardly attack” because “violence can have no place in European politics”.

The head of the Italian government Giorgia Meloni expressed “the strongest condemnation of all forms of violence and attacks on the basic principles of democracy and freedom”. And British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said “shocked to hear this terrible news.”

Finally, American President Joe Biden condemned a “despicable act of violence”adding that he and his wife Jill “were in thought of his family and the people of Slovakia.”

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