FOREIGN POLICY

Mitsotakis ‘shocked’ at ‘heinous attack’ on Slovak PM

Mitsotakis ‘shocked’ at ‘heinous attack’ on Slovak PM

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has expressed his shock at the “heinous attack” on his Slovak counterpart, Robert Fico, who has been injured in a shooting and taken to hospital.

“Shocked by the heinous attack against the Prime Minister of Slovakia Robert Fico. Such acts of violence have no place in our societies. I wish him a speedy recovery,” Mitsotakis said in a message posted on X social media platform.

Fico was shot and wounded in the abdomen after a government meeting, Slovak media reported.

The Slovak government office, in an emailed statement, said his condition was life-threatening.

A Reuters witness heard several shots fired after the meeting in Handlova northeast of the capital Bratislava. Police detained a man and security officials pushed someone into a car and drove off, the witness said.

Slovak news agency TASR quoted parliamentary vice-chairman Lubos Blaha as saying Fico had been shot and hurt. Broadcaster TA3 reported four shots were fired, one hitting Fico, 59, in the abdomen.

Emergency services said a helicopter had been sent for a 59-year-old man in Handlova after receiving information that he had been shot.

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, condemned what she described as a vile attack on Fico.

The Slovak government was meeting in Handlova, 190 km northeast of Bratislava, as part of a tour of the country’s regions after coming to power late last year.

Fico returned as prime minister of the central European country for the fourth time last year after shifting political gears to appeal to a changing electorate.

During a three-decade career, Fico has moved between the pro-European mainstream and nationalistic positions opposed to European Union and US policies. He has also shown a willingness to change course depending on public opinion or changed political realities.

Following the shooting, Slovakia’s biggest opposition party called off a planned protest against government public broadcaster reforms set for Wednesday evening. [Kathimerini/Reuters]

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