Slovak PM Fico stable but in serious condition

By Thomson Reuters May 18, 2024 | 5:55 AM

BANSKA BYSTRICA, Slovakia (Reuters) – The condition of Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico has stabilised but remains serious, the country’s health minister said on Saturday, following Wednesday’s assassination attempt against the central European leader.

Slovakia’s deputy prime minister also said the transfer of Fico to the capital Bratislava from the small-town hospital near the area where he was shot five times at point blank range would not take place in the coming days.

There was no need to formally take over Fico’s official duties and some communication with the premier was taking place, Deputy Prime Minister Robert Kalinak told reporters in front of the hospital where Fico was being treated.

Fico underwent a two-hour operation on Friday that increased hopes for his recovery. The attack sent shockwaves throughout Europe and raised concerns over the polarised and febrile political situation in the nation of 5.4 million people.

Slovak police have charged a man identified by prosecutors as Juraj C. with attempted murder. Local news media say he is a 71-year-old former security guard at a shopping mall and the author of three collections of poetry.

(Reporting by Bernadett Szabo and Jan Lopatka; Writing by Justyna Pawlak; Editing by Louise Heavens and David Holmes)