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Shooting in Slovakia: Prime Minister Fico’s Condition Improving, Investigation Underway

Slovakian PM Fico has survived assassination attempt. Investigation ongoing into political motivations behind attack.

Slovakia Prime Minister Robert Fico is currently recovering and is no longer in a life-threatening condition following a shooting incident, as confirmed by Deputy Prime Minister Tomas Taraba. 

Taraba expressed optimism about Fico’s recovery, stating that the surgery had gone well and that he believes the Prime Minister will survive.

The attack took place in the small town of Handlova, where Fico sustained grave injuries. Earlier reports from the Defence Minister described Fico as “fighting for his life.” 

However, Taraba’s recent statement offers hope regarding the Prime Minister’s condition.

The incident, described by Interior Minister Matus Sutaj Estoka as a politically motivated assassination attempt, resulted in the immediate detainment of a suspect at the scene of the shooting. 

While the suspect’s identity has not been officially disclosed, unconfirmed local media reports suggest he may be a 71-year-old writer and political activist.

The motive behind the attack appears to be linked to political discontent, as evidenced by a video circulating in Slovak media allegedly featuring the suspect expressing disagreement with government policies, particularly regarding state media.

The timing of the shooting coincided with parliament’s discussion of the government’s proposal to abolish Slovakia’s public broadcaster RTVS. 

This proposal has been met with opposition, with thousands of Slovaks protesting against it in recent weeks.

Deputy Prime Minister Taraba attributed the incident to “false narratives” propagated by opposition parties, echoing concerns raised by Prime Minister Fico in the past about the potential consequences of such rhetoric. 

Additionally, there have been accusations directed at the media for contributing to a hostile climate, with Interior Minister Estok labeling the attack as politically motivated.

The shooting underscores the contentious political landscape in Slovakia since Fico’s return to power. 

His leadership, characterised by populist-nationalist policies, has faced significant opposition, with recent controversial decisions including halting military aid to Ukraine and pushing through plans to abolish RTVS.

Outgoing President Zuzana Caputova condemned the attack, emphasising the detrimental impact of hateful rhetoric on society and expressing concern over the severity of the incident.

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