Home Europe Slovak PM Robert Fico Shot At, Injured

Slovak PM Robert Fico Shot At, Injured

Robert Fico

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico has suffered life-threatening injuries in an attempted assassination on Wednesday, the government office said.

Slovak news agency TASR quoted parliamentary vice-chairman Lubos Blaha as saying Robert Fico has been shot at and hurt.

Four shots were fired, Broadcaster TA3 reported, one hitting Fico, 59, in the abdomen. Emergency services said a helicopter had been sent for a 59-year-old man in Handlova after receiving information that he had been shot.

Prime Minister Robert Fico was conscious while on way to a hospital in the town of Handlova, a hospital spokesperson told Reuters. He received treatment for bullet wounds.

A Reuters witness heard several shots fired after the meeting in Handlova northeast of the capital Bratislava. Police detained a man and security officials pushed someone into a car and drove off, the witness said.

Leaders Condemn Attack

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, condemned what she described as a vile attack on Robert Fico.

“News of the cowardly assassination attempt on Slovakian Prime Minister Fico shocks me deeply. Violence must have no place in European politics,” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz posted on social media platform X.

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British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said news of the attack on Prime Minister Fico is shocking. “Shocked to hear this awful news. All our thoughts are with Prime Minister Fico and his family,” Sunak said on X.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has condemned the shooting of Slovak PM Robert Fico, calling the attack “appalling”. Need to ensure that violence does not become the norm in any country, form, or sphere, he said in a post on X.

The Slovak government was meeting in Handlova, 190 km northeast of Bratislava, as part of a tour of the country’s regions after coming to power late last year.

Fico returned as prime minister of the central European country, which is a member of the European Union and NATO, for the fourth time last year after shifting political gears to appeal to a changing electorate.

During a three-decade career, Fico has moved between pro-European mainstream and nationalistic positions opposed to European Union and US policies. He has also shown a willingness to change course depending on public opinion or changed political realities.

With inputs from Reuters