Dismay in Europe over the “despicable attack” on Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico

Consternation and bewilderment in the EU over the 'despicable attack' on Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico, who was shot several times as he greeted citizens after the government meeting in Handlova, about 150 kilometers northeast of Bratislava. The expressions of solidarity took place as soon as the attack became known and in anticipation of more information on the health of the leader, who recently came to power.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen was among the first to respond to what she called a “despicable attack.” “These 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,” he said on the social network X (formerly Twitter).

The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, expressed similar words, assuring that “nothing can justify violence or these attacks.” Fico is a populist and pro-Russian leader whose rise to power after winning the last elections caused dismay in the EU. In fact, the family of the Social Democrats has expelled their party (Smer) for the pro-Russian and homophobic positions of Fico, who agreed with the far right to return to power.

EU leaders have also expressed their dismay over the attack. “Shocked and outraged by the attack on the Prime Minister of Slovakia,” admitted Pedro Sánchez, who also sends the message that “nothing can justify violence.”

“I am shocked by the attack on Robert Fico, a close friend of Serbia and my personal friend. Dear friend, I pray for you and for your health,” said the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, on the social network Slovak. “I am deeply moved by the news of the terrible attack on my friend Robert Fico,” the head of the Hungarian government, who was politically very close to the Slovak prime minister, said on Facebook. The Hungarian Prime Minister added that he will pray for his “speedy recovery.”

“I received the news of the vicious attack on the Slovak Prime Minister with great confusion. All my thoughts are with him, his family and the kind Slovak people,” far-right Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said in a statement, calling for the “strongest condemnation of all forms of violence and attacks on the fundamental principles of democracy and the freedom.”

“I wish you a speedy and full recovery. We must not allow hatred and violence to prevail in our democracies and we must fight them with the utmost determination,” said Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer, claiming to have spoken about security issues just a few days ago. Violence against politicians has increased in recent weeks, including the beating a German Social Democratic lawmaker received while putting up posters.

“We condemn in the strongest terms this act of violence against the head of government of our neighbor and ally. “Every effort must be made to ensure that violence does not become the norm in any country,” were the words of Volodymyr Zelensky, who also feared that Fico's arrival in the government would jeopardize EU aid to Ukraine to take.



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