Written by 01:51 World

Slovak Prime Minister Speaks Publicly for First Time Since Assassination Attempt

Prime Minister Robert Fico of Slovakia spoke publicly for the first time since being shot three weeks ago, blaming the opposition in a video released on Wednesday for what he described as a politically motivated assassination attempt.

In the recorded video address, which was posted to the official Facebook pages for Mr. Fico and his political party, Smer, the prime minister detailed his recovery and said it would be “a minor miracle” if he could return to work in a few weeks.

Mr. Fico, 59, was shot multiple times at close range on May 15 in Handlova, in central Slovakia, and required several rounds of surgery before he was released from a hospital on May 30. He has been recovering at his home in Bratislava, the capital.

He said in his address that the attack seriously harmed him, adding that he was receiving outpatient care. He said he hoped to return to work gradually by the end of June or early July “if everything goes as planned,” according to an English translation provided by Mr. Fico and Smer.

Mr. Fico said that “an activist of the Slovak opposition” had attempted to assassinate him because of his political views, describing the gunman as “a messenger of evil and political hatred.” Opposition parties have denied any connection to the shooting.

“I have no reason to believe this was an attack by a lone madman,” he said.

Mr. Fico, a combative populist who became prime minister in October after a narrow victory in a parliamentary election, spoke just before a moratorium on speeches and campaigning takes effect in Slovakia ahead of elections for the European Parliament on Saturday. He suggested in his remarks that his political opinions, including his opposition to military aid to Ukraine, had made him a target. His opponents have accused his government of eroding democracy.

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Last modified: 8 June 2024
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