Slovak Prime Minister Fico is no longer in critical condition after being shot five times

Slovakia's prime minister survived an assassination attempt and was left in critical condition after being shot five times.

Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico speaks during a news conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (not pictured) in Berlin, Germany, January 24, 2024. – Reuters
  • Robert Fico survives an assassination attempt and undergoes surgery.
  • 1 bullet went through his stomach, another hit him in a joint: deputy prime minister.
  • Presidents Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin condemn the attack on the Slovak Prime Minister.

BANSKA BYSTRICA: Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico's condition has stabilized and he is no longer in a “life-threatening condition” after surviving an assassination attempt on Wednesday, the deputy prime minister and minister of Environment of the country, Tomas Taraba.

“Fortunately, as far as I know, the operation went well. […] and I guess in the end he will survive […] is not in a life-threatening situation at this time,” Taraba told bbc.

Fico, 59, survived an assassination attempt and was left in critical condition and had to undergo surgery after being shot five times as he left a government meeting a day earlier.

According to the deputy prime minister, one bullet passed through Fico's stomach and the second hit a joint.

The shooting in the central Slovak town of Handlova, which Slovak media said was carried out by a 71-year-old man, shocked the small central European nation and sparked international condemnation.

After the attack, Fico was rushed to a hospital in Handlova, where he had been chairing a government meeting. He was then transported by helicopter to the regional capital, Banska Bystrica, for urgent treatment, he said, adding that his condition was too serious for him to be taken to Bratislava.

Security officials detain a person after the shooting of Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico in Handlova, Slovakia, May 15, 2024. – Reuters

TO Reuters A witness heard gunshots as Fico emerged from a building to shake hands with a crowd of people who had been waiting to greet him. Police then tackled a man to the ground.

Slovak media reported that the shooter was a former shopping center security guard, the author of three poetry collections, and a member of the Slovak Society of Writers.

Media He quoted his son as saying that his father was the legal holder of a gun license.

“I don't have the slightest idea what my father intended, what he planned, what happened,” said the son.

Slovakia, a member of NATO and the European Union, has little history of political violence. Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden joined Slovakia's EU partners in expressing their shock and condemnation over the shooting.

Describing the shooting as a “monstrous” crime, Putin said in a telegram sent to Slovak President Zuzana Caputova: “I know Robert Fico as a brave and determined man. I have great hopes that these qualities will help him survive this difficult situation.” situation.”

Meanwhile, President Biden said, “We condemn this horrific act of violence.”

The country of 5.4 million people has seen a polarized political debate in recent years, including last month's close presidential election that helped tighten Fico's grip on power.

Since returning as prime minister last October, Fico has rapidly changed policy. Opposition critics call it a power grab.

His government has reduced support for Ukraine, while opening dialogue with Russia sought to weaken punishments for corruption and dismantled a special prosecutor's office, and is revamping public broadcaster RTVS despite calls to protect press freedom.

Fico has long criticized Slovakia's main media outlets and has refused to speak to some of them. Members of his party criticized the actions of the media and the opposition in recent months.

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