Slovak PM Fico between life and death after shooting, Hungary PM says

By Thomson Reuters May 17, 2024 | 1:08 AM

BUDAPEST (Reuters) – Slovakia’s Prime Minister Robert Fico is between life and death two days after an assassination attempt that sent shock waves across Europe, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban told public radio on Friday.

The shooting was the first major assassination attempt on a European political leader for more than 20 years, and has drawn international condemnation.

Political analysts and lawmakers say it has exposed an increasingly febrile and polarised political climate both in Slovakia and across Europe.

“We are praying for the prime minister and root for Slovakia,” Orban said. “We wish him a speedy recovery and return to work. Robert Fico is between life and death.”

Orban said even if Fico recovers, he would be out of work for months at a critical time in the run-up to European Parliament elections due early next month.

“We are facing an election that will decide not just about members of European Parliament but along with the U.S. election can determine the course of war and peace in Europe,” Orban said.

“In that situation we would have badly needed Robert Fico and a pro-peace Slovakia.

(Reporting by Gergely Szakacs and Paweł Florkiewicz; editing by Christina Fincher)