Home News Slovakia’s prime minister speaks publicly for first time since assassination attempt

Slovakia’s prime minister speaks publicly for first time since assassination attempt


Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico spoke publicly for the first time since he was shot three weeks ago, accusing the opposition in a video released Wednesday of carrying out what he called a politically motivated assassination.

inside Recording video addressThe prime minister posted a message on the official Facebook page of Mr Fico and his party, the Direction Party, detailing his recovery and saying it would be “a small miracle” if he could return to work in a few weeks.

Mr. Fico was shot multiple times at close range in Handlova, central Slovakia, on May 15 and was released from hospital on May 30 after undergoing several rounds of surgery. He is currently recuperating at his home in the capital, Bratislava.

In his speech, he said the attack had caused him serious injuries, adding that he was receiving outpatient treatment. He said he hoped to gradually return to work by the end of June or early July “if everything goes well,” according to an English translation provided by Mr. Fico and Mr. Smale.

Fico said “an activist of the Slovak opposition” had tried to assassinate him because of his political views and called the gunman “a messenger of evil and political hatred.” The opposition denied any involvement in the shooting.

“I have no reason to believe this was an attack by a lone madman,” he said.

Mr. Fico, a combative populist who became prime minister after a narrow victory in parliamentary elections last October, spoke ahead of a suspension of speeches and campaigning in Slovakia ahead of Saturday’s European Parliament elections. In his speech, he said his political views, including his opposition to military aid for Ukraine, had made him a target of criticism. His opponents accuse his government of eroding democracy.

“It’s a cruel observation, but the right to dissent no longer exists in the European Union,” he said.

A suspect was detained. charged Slovak authorities announced in May that the man was suspected of attempted premeditated murder following the attack.

Mr Fico said he would not take legal action against the suspects or seek compensation.

“It’s time for me to take the first step, which is forgiveness,” Mr. Fico said. “I have no hatred for the stranger who shot me.”

In his speech, Mr. Fico openly criticized his political opponents and said he had been worried for months about a possible political assassination.

“I should be filled with anger, hatred and revenge,” he said. “Opposing a politician you disagree with is not something that can be resolved by shooting him. Instead, I want to express my belief that good will come from all the pain that I have gone through and am going through.”

Fico’s Direction party mentioned the attack in its EU campaign.

Michal Simecka, leader of the main opposition Progressive Slovakia party, denied any links between his party and the attackers. Statement on Facebook On Wednesday, he said he strongly condemned the assassination attempt and wished Mr Fico a speedy recovery, but was disappointed with the prime minister’s speech.

The opposition Freedom and Solidarity party also issued a statement on Facebook condemning any suggestion that it was involved in the shooting.

“We strongly object to the linking of the murderer and his actions against the prime minister to our policy, which is based on facts and professional criticism,” the statement said, adding that Fico had crossed the line by “denigrifying the opposition.”

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