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Slovakia PM shooting: Robert Fico ‘not out of the woods yet’ – latest

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Robert Fico in life-threatening condition after assassination attempt

The Slovakian prime minister is “not out of the woods” yet after he was shot in the stomach in an assassination attempt on Wednesday.

Mr Fico, 59, was injured after five shots were fired outside the House of Culture in the town of Handlova where the leader was meeting with supporters.

“The medical team managed to improve the prime minister’s condition, however he is not out of the woods yet,” Slovakia’s deputy prime minister said.

Suspect Juraj Cintula, 71, believed to be a former security guard and poet, was charged with attempted murder and faces up to 25 years in prison.

He is believed to have attended anti-government protests, and in social media posts referred to having disagreements with Mr Fico’s policies.

Previously, deputy prime minister Robert Kaliňák said the operation “went well” and added: “I guess in the end he will survive. He’s not in a life-threatening situation at this moment.”

Mr Fico, a well-known ally of Russian president Vladimir Putin, is a divisive figure in Slovak politics, with the European Union Parliament elections due to take place in three weeks.

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PM is ‘living the worst hours and days of his life’

The prime minister is “living the worst hours and days of his life,” the president of Slovakia has said.

In a press conference outside the hospital where PM Robert Fico is being treated: “We hope he will survive these days and that we will be able to witness his quick recovery.”

Maryam Zakir-Hussain16 May 2024 14:21

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Hospital where Slovak PM being treated give update

The FD Roosevelt University Hospital in Banska Bystrica, where Robert Fico is being treated for injuries, is now giving a live update. Stay tuned as we keep you posted.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain16 May 2024 14:19

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‘Left wing populist’: What does Robert Fico believe?

During a three-decade career, Fico has skilfully weaved between pro-European mainstream and nationalistic anti-Brussels and anti-American positions, while showing a willingness to change course depending on public opinion or changed political realities.

Polling at around 10 per cent in 2020, the Covid pandemic opened a door for Fico, who sought to address voter fears in slamming government health measures.

At the same time he a tapped into dissatisfaction with bickering in the ruling government and raised doubts with its pro-Western course, chiming with pro-Russian narratives on social networks that had spread across Slovakia.

Alexander Butler16 May 2024 14:00

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How the attempted assassination of Robert Fico unfolded

The Slovakian prime minister Robert Fico was shot five times at point-blank range on Wednesday afternoon.

Hospital officials have confirmed his condition is “very serious” but stable after the politician was airlifted to FD Roosevelt University Hospital in Banska Bystrica, 25 miles from the site of the shooting in the town of Handlova.

The official added two surgical teams in the hospital had spent five hours treating the multiple gunshot wounds.

Alexander Butler16 May 2024 13:30

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In pictures: Bullet hole in tree where Slovak prime minster was shot

A bullet hole marks a tree at the scene after a shooting incident in which Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico was wounded, outside the House of Culture in Handlova, Slovakia.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain16 May 2024 13:25

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Suspect charged with attempted murder, Slovak official confirms

The Slovak interior minister has confirmed that the suspect who is accused of shooting Robert Fico has been charged with attempted murder.

Speaking during a news conference of the Slovak security council, he said the attempt on Mr Fico’s life was “politically motivated”.

He said the suspect, who is believed to be 71, was a “lone wolf” who did not belong to any political party but had previously taken part in anti-government protests.

Slovakia’s interior minister Matus Sutaj Estok said the gunman acted alone (AP)

Alexander Butler16 May 2024 12:53

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Fico ‘not out of the woods yet’ following assassination attempt

The Slovakian prime minister is “not out of the woods” yet after he was shot in the stomach in an assassination attempt on Wednesday.

Mr Fico, 59, was injured after five shots were fired outside the House of Culture in the town of Handlova where the leader was meeting with supporters.

“It will be very difficult in the days to come. However, we have full confidence in the medical team who every minute monitor his condition.

“Doctors managed to improve the prime minister’s condition, however he is not out of the woods yet,” Slovakia’s deputy prime minister said.

Mr Fico was airlifted to Banska Bystrica Hospital where he was seen being carried on a gurney

Alexander Butler16 May 2024 12:35

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Slovakian opposition leader calls for end to ‘spiral of attacks’

Slovakia’s opposition leader has called for an end to the “spiral of attacks and blame” following an attempted assassination of prime minister Robert Fico.

Michal Šimečka, of Progressive Slovakia, said: “The assassination of the prime minister is an attack on democracy. Most of all, we now need to end the spiral of attacks and blame. We must all contribute to this in our own way, both as politicians and as citizens.

“After yesterday’s terrible act we immediately suspended the campaign to the European Parliament and are providing full cooperation and cooperation to political partners to calm the situation in Slovakia.

Alexander Butler16 May 2024 12:01

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Slovakian police urge ‘respect and tolerance’

The Slovakian police have urged “respect and tolerance” after comments appeared on social media approving of Robert Fico’s attempted assassination.

On social media, the Slovakian police said: “In the comments below the post about yesterday’s event, there are also those that approve of crime and those that spread hate.

“We evaluate these posts and if they meet the actual essence of the crime or offense, we will take action. Avoiding punishment is so simple.

“Respect and tolerance are all you need. There are two words that everyone should follow when communicating, and not only on social networks.

“It should also be a standard in everyday life, where respect, decency, dignity and other virtues of daily life belong. Thank you.”

Alexander Butler16 May 2024 11:40

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Russia’s Medvedev praises Fico for ‘reasonable’ positions on Russia

Former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev praised Slovakian prime minister Robert Fico, who was wounded in an attempted assassination on Wednesday.

He said there were few politicians like him in Europe and that he had “reasonable” positions regarding Russia.

Fico, 59, returned to power in Slovakia last year. Having previously served twice as prime minister, from 2006 to 2010 and again from 2012 to 2018, his third term, won in September last year, made him the longest-serving head of government in Slovakia’s history.

After the win in 2006 – two years after Slovakia joined the EU – Fico kept the nation on course to adopt the Euro in 2009 despite forming a government with nationalists.

Fico and Smer have most often been described as left-populist, though he has also been compared to right-wing politicians like the nationalist prime minister of neighboring Hungary, Viktor Orban.

Former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev said Fico had a ‘reasonable’ position on Russia (Sputnik)

Alexander Butler16 May 2024 11:27

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