Slovakia’s PM Robert Fico no longer in ‘life-threatening situation’


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According to medical professionals and officials, the assassination attempt on the Slovakian Prime Minister, Robert Fico, has left him in a very serious condition, but his life is no longer in danger.

On Thursday morning, Fico was still in the hospital with serious injuries after a long surgery. This was the first attack against an EU leader in over 20 years and its impact was felt all across Europe, especially since the European parliamentary elections are only three weeks away.

The 59-year-old leader, who supports populism and Russia, was shot several times while he was meeting with people in Handlová Town, which is approximately 190km away from Bratislava, the capital of the central European country. Several of his associates connected the attack to the severe political division in the country.

The security council of Slovakia has announced an additional meeting on Thursday, which will coincide with a government meeting.

According to a news conference on Thursday, hospital director Miriam Lapuníková stated that Fico underwent a five-hour surgery with two medical teams. Although his condition has stabilized, it remains very severe.

During their address, Defence Minister Robert Kaliňák spoke about the severity of the situation due to the complicated injuries. However, he also expressed hope that they would be able to manage it.

According to deputy prime minister Tomáš Taraba, a bullet entered Fico's stomach and another hit a joint. Taraba mentioned to the BBC that the operation went smoothly and it seems likely that Fico will pull through. Currently, Fico's condition is not considered life-threatening.

Local media reported that a man who possessed a gun license and was 71 years old was taken into custody as a potential culprit for the shooting. A video of the event portrays the perpetrator being apprehended at the location where he had discharged five bullets.

The assault has exposed the significant differences in political opinions in the European Union and NATO participant nation with a population of 5.4 million. This is due to Fico's triumph in the elections in September which brought him back to power as the prime minister for the fourth time since 2006. His endeavors to revamp the country's legal system led to demonstrations.

The interior minister Matúš Šutaj Eštok declared that the assassination attempt was driven by political motives and the culprit took the decision shortly after the presidential election in April, which was triumphed by Peter Pellegrini, an associate of Fico.

The head of the Slovak National party, named Andrej Danko, who is one of the members in Fico's current governing group, expressed concern that this assault may lead to a "political battle."

The former President, Zuzana Čaputová, who was liberal and did not shy away from criticizing Fico, has requested an end to the use of aggressive language towards politicians. In a speech made to the public on television, she stated that the hostile language being used is the root cause of violent behavior. Furthermore, she mentioned that the attack on the prime minister was not just an attack on an individual but it was also a direct assault on democracy.

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