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Slovakia’s Prime Minister Robert Fico Survives Assassination Attempt, Sending Shockwaves Through Europe

Slovakia’s Prime Minister Robert Fico narrowly escaped death after being shot multiple times in what authorities are calling an attempted assassination. The incident, which occurred after a political event in the town of Handlova, has sent shockwaves across Slovakia and reverberated throughout Europe.

Fico, a prominent figure in Slovakian politics for decades, has long been a divisive figure both domestically and internationally. Known for his populist stance and close ties to Russia, Fico’s return to power last year raised concerns among European Union members about Slovakia’s direction and its relationship with the West.

The attempted assassination took place as Fico was greeting supporters after a government meeting, highlighting the deeply polarized nature of Slovakian politics. The gunman, identified as a 71-year-old poet, reportedly targeted Fico with five shots before being subdued by security personnel.

Despite sustaining serious injuries, Fico’s condition was later described as stable, with Deputy Prime Minister Tomas Taraba stating that he was “not in a life-threatening situation at this moment.” Fico was swiftly transported to a nearby hospital for emergency surgery before being airlifted to a major trauma center for further treatment.

The motive behind the attack remains unclear, although Interior Minister Matus Sutaj Estok asserted that there was “a clear political motivation” behind the assassination attempt. The incident has reignited concerns about rising political tensions and hate speech in Slovakia, with government officials urging for calm and unity in the face of adversity.

The international community has rallied behind Fico, condemning the violence and expressing solidarity with Slovakia. Leaders from across Europe, including President Joe Biden, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, have all denounced the attack and wished Fico a speedy recovery.

Fico’s tenure as prime minister has been marked by controversies, including allegations of corruption and his government’s handling of the murder of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancée. Despite these challenges, Fico has remained a dominant force in Slovakian politics, advocating for closer ties with Russia and challenging Western influence in the region.

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