Slovak Prime Minister Fico was shot and is in a 'life-threatening' condition

Prime Minister of Slovakia Robert Fico attends a press conference during a special meeting of the European Council on April 18, 2024 in Brussels, Belgium.

Pier Marco Tacca | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Slovakia's populist Prime Minister Robert Fico was shot multiple times on Wednesday in an assassination attempt that has sent shockwaves across the continent.

The 59-year-old was taken by helicopter to hospital in the central Slovak town of Banska Bystrica for treatment.

A post on Fico's official Facebook page said the prime minister had been “shot several times and is in a life-threatening condition” after an “attempted assassination.”

“At the moment he is being transported by helicopter to Banska Bystrica, because getting to Bratislava would take too long given the urgency of the case. The next few hours will decide,” the post said, according to a translation from NBC.

Slovak Foreign Minister Juraj Blanar confirmed to CNBC that Fico was shot several times at close range shortly after a government meeting in the central Slovak city of Handlova.

“I strongly condemn this treasonous attack on the Prime Minister as an attack on democracy,” Blanar said in a statement. “We all believe that the Prime Minister will overcome this difficult battle,” he added.

In addition, Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová “strongly” condemned the “brutal and ruthless attack” in a Google-translated Facebook post. after.

Fico returned to power last September after campaigning on a pro-Russian and anti-American platform.

A person is held after a shooting incident by Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico, following a Slovak government meeting in Handlova, Slovakia, May 15, 2024.

Radovan Stoklasa | Reuters

European leaders reacted with shock to the news and wished Fico well.

“I strongly condemn the vicious attack on Prime Minister Robert Fico,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said via social media platform X.

“Such acts of violence have no place in our society and undermine democracy, our most precious public interest. My thoughts are with Prime Minister Fico and his family,” she added.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said he was “deeply shocked by the horrific attack” on Slovak Fico.

“We pray for his health and speedy recovery! God bless him and his country!” Orban said through X.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said The news of “the cowardly assassination attempt on Slovak Prime Minister Fico shocked me enormously.”

“Violence should have no place in European politics. At this time, my thoughts are with Robert Fico, his family and the citizens of Slovakia,” Scholz said via a Google-translated post on X.

Security officers transport Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico in a car after he was injured in a shooting incident, following a Slovak government meeting in Handlova, Slovakia, May 15, 2024.

Radovan Stoklasa | Reuters

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the attack on Fico was “terrible” and “strongly” condemned the act of violence.

“Every effort must be made to ensure that violence does not become the norm in any country, in any form or in any area,” Zelenskyy said via X.

“We sincerely hope that Robert Fico recovers quickly and express our solidarity with the people of Slovakia,” he added.

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala described he called the news of Fico's shooting “shocking” and said he wished Slovakia's prime minister “will get better as soon as possible.”

“We should not tolerate violence, it should have no place in society,” Fiala said in a Google-translated post via social media platform X.

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