19 May 2024, 16:23

Slovak PM's life no longer in danger after shooting: minister

BRATISLAVA, May 19, 2024 (BSS/AFP) - Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico's life is no 
longer in danger following an assassination attempt, Deputy Prime Minister Robert Kalinak said 
on Sunday.

Fico has been in hospital since Wednesday when a lone gunman shot him four times, including 
in the abdomen.

"He has emerged from the immediate threat to his life, but his condition remains serious and he 
requires intensive care," Kalinak, Fico's closest political ally, told reporters.

The Slovak premier underwent a five-hour surgery on Wednesday and another surgery on 
Friday, both at a hospital in the central city of Banska Bystrica.

"We can consider his condition stable with a positive prognosis," Kalinak said outside the 
hospital, adding, "We all feel a bit more relaxed now."

Kalinak added that Fico would stay at Banska Bystrica for the moment.

The suspected gunman, identified by Slovak media as 71-year-old poet Juraj Cintula, has been 
charged with attempted premeditated murder and was put in pre-trial detention by a special 
penal court on Saturday.

Fico was shot as he was walking to greet supporters after a government meeting in the central 
mining town of Handlova.

Kalinak said earlier that Fico had suffered four gunshot wounds, two light, one medium and 
one serious. 

Interior Minister Matus Sutaj Estok said that if one of the shots "went just a few centimetres 
higher, it would have hit the prime minister's liver".

The 59-year-old Fico took office in October after his centrist populist Smer party won a general 

He is serving his fourth term as prime minister after campaigning on proposals for peace 
between Russia and Slovakia's neighbour Ukraine, and to halt military aid to Kyiv, which his 
government has done.

Kalinak said the government would carry on without Fico "according to the programme he has 
outlined", including two meetings next week.

The assassination attempt has deeply shocked the EU and NATO member country of 5.4 
million people, already sharply divided over politics for years

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