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  HOME PAGE 23/05/2024 12:16 
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Slovakia's Prime Minister Shot, Injured: State-Run Media

15.05.2024 19:12

Robert Fico is ‘currently in life threatening condition,’ says his Facebook account.

UPDATES WITH MORE CONDEMNATIONS

By Ahmet Gencturk and Aysu Bicer

ATHENS (AA) — Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico was taken to hospital after he was shot and injured on Wednesday, according to state-run media.

According to the TASR news agency, the incident took place when an attacker fired several shots in front of the House of Culture in the central city of Handlova, where a government meeting was held.

The attacker was detained after the attack, it said.

Local JOJ television reported that a man in the crowd opened fire at the prime minister when he came out of the building to greet the residents of the city.

Fico's Facebook account said in a statement that he is "currently in a life-threatening condition."

Slovakia's President Zuzana Caputova condemned the attack in "strongest possible terms" and wished the prime minister early recovery.

Condemnations

Condemning the attack, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on X: "Such acts of violence have no place in our society and undermine democracy, our most precious common good. My thoughts are with PM Fico and his family."

Expressing "shock" over the incident, European Council President Charles Michel said: "Nothing can ever justify violence or such attacks."


Similarly, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said on X: "Shocked to hear this awful news. All our thoughts are with Prime Minister Fico and his family."

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz also said: "I am deeply shocked by the news of a cowardly assassination attempt on Slovakian Prime Minister Fico. Violence must have no place in European politics. In these hours, my thoughts are with Robert Fico, his family and the citizens of Slovakia."

Expressing "shock over the cowardly attack," Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni on X said: "Also on behalf of the Italian Government I wish to express the strongest condemnation of any form of violence and attack on the cardinal principles of democracy and freedom."

Both Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis condemned the attack with posts on X. Iohannis wrote: "Appalled to learn about the shooting of the Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico. I wish him a full and speedy recovery. I strongly condemn such extremist acts, which threaten our core European values."

Rutte said: "Shocked by the shooting of my long time colleague Prime Minister Robert Fico of Slovakia. I wish him much strength, my thoughts are with him and his family."

Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban said: "I was deeply shocked by the heinous attack against my friend, Prime Minister Robert Fico. We pray for his health and quick recovery! God bless him and his country."

Calling the attack "heinous," Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said, "Such acts of violence have no place in our societies. I wish him a speedy recovery."

The Bulgarian Foreign Ministry said: "We categorically condemn the attack on Robert #Fico! We wish to him a speedy recovery, strength and courage to his family."

Serbian Foreign Minister Marko Djuric said he was "appalled" by the assassination attempt on Fico and wished him a speedy recovery.

The attack was "an attack on democracy," according to Belgium's Prime Minister Alexander de Croo, who said on X that there was "no justification for this kind of violence.

"I wish my colleague a speedy recovery. Our thoughts are with his family and friends and the people of Slovakia," said de Croo.

Spanish Premier Pedro Sanchez also said he was horrified and outraged by the attack, adding that "nothing can justify violence."

"Spain stands with Robert Fico, his family, and the Slovak people in these extremely difficult times," he added.

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg also said he is "shocked and appalled by the shooting," wishing the Slovakian premier strength for a speedy recovery.

"My thoughts are with Robert Fico, his loved ones, and the people of Slovakia," said the secretary general of the alliance.

Fico's leftist SMER party won elections in September 2023 on a promise to end military aid to Ukraine and stop irregular migration.

It marked the third time he took the office of prime minister.

Fico is the chairman of the SMER party, part of a three-party coalition government that includes the Hlas party and Slovak National Party. -



 
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