Five-hour operation

Government: Prime Minister Fico’s condition “serious”

16.05.2024 09:12

Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico is "stable" after an emergency operation following the assassination attempt, but his state of health remains "very serious". This was announced by the Slovakian government on Thursday. The cabinet will meet at 11 am.

Deputy Prime Minister Robert Kaliňák and representatives of the Roosevelt Hospital in Banská Bystrica provided information about the prime minister's condition on Thursday. The director of the hospital, Miriam Lapuníková, explained that Fico was operated on for five hours by two surgical teams. "The patient had several gunshot wounds."

"Condition still very serious"
Kaliňák thanked all the doctors at the hospital. "The condition is still very serious, precisely because of the complexity of the injuries, but we all want to believe that we will be able to manage the situation," added the politician from Fico's Smer party. The government has scheduled a special meeting for 11 am. The National Security Council is also to discuss the situation at the same time. In addition to the head of government, the National Security Council includes the ministers of the interior and defense as well as other ministers from all three coalition parties.

During the night, another of Fico's deputies, Tomáš Taraba, had already declared that Fico's life was out of danger. "As far as I know, the operation went well - and I think he will survive in the end," the right-wing populist environment minister Taraba told the BBC late in the evening. The news service "" quoted a person familiar with the matter as saying that Fico was in a stable condition after the operation. According to media reports, Fico has regained consciousness.

Hard hit
Interior Minister Matúš Šutaj Eštok previously spoke of a life-threatening situation. According to Eštok, the attacker fired five shots. One bullet had penetrated Fico's stomach and a second had hit a joint, said Taraba. A political motive was suspected. The perpetrator was overpowered immediately after the shots were fired. According to earlier reports, Fico was hit in the abdomen during the attack in Handlová.

Police in front of the Roosevelt University Hospital in Banska Bystrica in central Slovakia, where Prime Minister Robert Fico is hospitalized (Bild: AP ( via APA) Austria Presse Agentur/Denes Erdos)
Police in front of the Roosevelt University Hospital in Banska Bystrica in central Slovakia, where Prime Minister Robert Fico is hospitalized

According to a spokeswoman for a hospital in the city, Fico was responsive when he was admitted. According to the government office, he was flown to Banská Bystrica for treatment because transportation to Bratislava would have taken too long in view of the acute situation.

Confirmed information on the perpetrator and the motive was not initially available. According to, the alleged perpetrator is a 71-year-old man who is in possession of a firearms license. The service quoted the man's son as saying that he had no idea of his father's plans and what had happened. His father had not voted for Fico, he said, and could not say any more.

Assassin arrested
An employee of the Reuters news agency reported that he heard several shots and saw a man being arrested by the police. The arrested man was taken away by security forces in a car. Handlová is located around 190 kilometers northeast of Bratislava. The Prime Minister was on a tour of the country's regions.

The attack shook Slovakia and sparked international condemnation. Heads of state and government from several countries condemned the act.

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