Slovakia PM Robert Fico given 'positive prognosis' after assassination attempt

Prime Minister Robert Fico speaking in 2016. AP
Prime Minister Robert Fico speaking in 2016. Credit: AP

Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico has been given a "positive prognosis", four days after he was shot multiple times in an assassination attempt.

Mr Fico, 59, was injured as he greeted supporters outside a cultural centre in the town of Handlova on Wednesday.

The country's defence minister Robert Kalinak spoke to reporters outside the hospital where Mr Fico is being treated.

"The worst of what we feared has passed, at least for the moment," he said. "But his condition remains serious.

"His condition is stable with a positive prognosis.”

Mr Fico underwent two hours of surgery after being shot in the abdomen at close range, but he is not healthy enough to be transferred to the capital Bratislava.

Doctors at the hospital in Banská Bystrica said the patient is out of a life-threatening condition.

"His condition remains very serious, and he needs a long time to rest to recover," said Milan Urbáni, deputy director of the hospital. "We firmly believe that everything will go in a good direction.”

Flowers are placed outside the F. D. Roosevelt University Hospital where Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico is being treated. Credit: AP

Video of the attack showed the Slovak premier approach people gathered at barricades as a man stepped forward, extended his arm and fired five rounds before being tackled and arrested.

The suspect has been charged with attempted murder and remains in custody.

Officials have not yet formally named the man charged but it has been widely reported in Slovakian media that he is 71-year-old poet Juraj Cintula from the town of Levice.

Slovakia’s interior minister, Matus Sutaj Estok, said the attack on Mr Fico is an “attack on democracy in any normal country”.

He added: “At a time when democracy is being attacked, it must be the security forces that have to give a clear signal that they are prepared to protect the population of the Slovak Republic.”

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