Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico remains in serious condition on the morning of Thursday, May 16, with allies of the leader blaming the media and political opposition for the shooting. (Photo by Zuzana Gogova/Getty Images)


Slovak PM Fico in ‘serious’ condition after shooting as allies blame media


Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico remains in serious condition following an assassination attempt, with allies of the leader blaming the media and political opposition for spurring the shooting.

Speaking at a press conference, the country’s Deputy Prime Minister Robert Kaliňák, said that doctors had managed to stabilise Fico’s condition overnight on May 15, although it still remained unclear early on May 16 whether he would survive.

“At the moment, they are working on improving his condition,” Kaliňák said.

“Unfortunately, his condition is still very serious because of how complicated his injuries were.

“But all of us want to very much believe we will manage to overcome this situation,” he added.

A 71-year-old man has been arrested by police in connection with the shooting, with reports indicating that the attack was politically motivated.

Reports on the man’s political background are currently conflicting, with some claiming he holds a pro-Russian stance while others claimed he was critical of Russia and had allegedly attacked Fico for that reason.

While the gunman’s motives remain unclear, many allies of the Slovak PM have opted to blame the media and the ruling left-nationalist Government’s opposition for the attack.

Deputy Speaker of the Slovak Parliament Peter Žiga accused opposition MPs of having “whipped passions and the division of society into two camps”, adding that what he called their divisive rhetoric directly led to the attack.

Parliamentarian Andrej Danko spoke more harshly, blaming former prime minister Igor Matovič – who currently leads the Conservative Slovakia party – for the shooting.

“Are you satisfied? Are you?,” Danko railed in Parliament following the attack.

“There will be changes to the media. Matovič and other people must confess to what they did.”

Some calls for calm from those within Fico’s party were laced with apparent barbs for the political opposition; MEP Monika Beňová said: “I would like to ask … that we all calm down and together try to overcome the anger that the assassination [attempt] of Robert Fico caused in us today.

“It’s not easy for me either, trust me. I could … address all those who insulted Robert on a daily basis … But at this point it doesn’t lead to anything.

“We will not be like them. We will not threaten them or curse them [as] monkeys, desolates, lice, nut-jobs or anything.

“I will not forgive them … or anyone [for] what happened,” Beňová said.

“But I don’t wish anything bad happen to anyone. Let them live their lives in safety and finally find peace and harmony in themselves and in their bubbles,” she concluded.