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19/05/24 | 5:12 pm

Slovak PM Fico no longer in immediate danger but condition serious, deputy says

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico is no longer in immediate danger but still in a serious condition, his deputy said on Sunday (May 19), four days after an assassination attempt that sent shockwaves through Europe.

Deputy Prime Minister Robert Kalinak gave the media an update at a news conference outside the hospital where Fico is being treated in the central Slovak town of Banska Bystrica.

The prime minister, 59, was hit by four bullets on Wednesday (May 15) in an attack that raised alarm over the polarised state of politics in the central European country of 5.4 million people.

Kalinak told journalists that Fico’s condition was still too serious to consider transferring him to hospital in the capital. But the worst fears had passed for now.

“When we were saying that we want to get closer to a positive prognosis, then I believe that we are a step closer to that,” he added.

The shooting was the first major assassination attempt on a European political leader for more than 20 years, and has drawn international condemnation. Political analysts and lawmakers say it has exposed an increasingly febrile and polarised political climate both in Slovakia and across Europe.

The Slovak Specialised Criminal Court ruled on Saturday (May 18) that the suspect, identified by prosecutors as Juraj C., would remain in custody after being charged with attempted murder.

Local news media say the suspect is a 71-year-old former security guard at a shopping mall and the author of three collections of poetry.

(Reuters)

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