Denmark’s PM Recovers from Assault, Warns of Rising Public Aggression

COPENHAGEN – Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen announced on Tuesday that she is still recovering both physically and mentally from an assault in central Copenhagen last week. She also expressed concern about increasing public aggression.

A 39-year-old Polish man has been remanded in custody over the assault, which resulted in Frederiksen suffering a minor neck injury. Authorities reported that the attacker was under the influence of alcohol and drugs, and there was no indication of a political motive.

“I’m not quite myself yet,” Frederiksen said in an interview with broadcaster DR. “I look after my work as prime minister, and I always will. I was also able to do so over the weekend, but not in the same way as I normally do.”  The assault occurred just three weeks after Slovakia’s Prime Minister Robert Fico was seriously injured in an assassination attempt.

Frederiksen noted a shift in the public domain in recent years, stating, “We all experience across (political) parties that the boundaries are shifting wildly.” She highlighted the increasing threats, harsh social media tone, and public aggression, particularly since the onset of the war in the Middle East.

“There’s been threats over a long period of time, a very harsh tone on social media, which has gotten worse, and especially after the war in the Middle East, a lot of shouting in public, people behaving very, very aggressively,” she said.

Despite Denmark’s reputation as a bicycle-friendly country ranking high in happiness surveys and priding itself on inclusiveness, equality, and a generous welfare model, Frederiksen observed a concerning change. “We have been proud of a country where the prime minister cycles to work,” she said.

“But a shift has occurred. I’ve always made myself available, but the street scene has changed, and there are places where we can no longer go, at least some of us politicians,” she added. Frederiksen’s comments underscore the growing need to address public aggression and ensure the safety of political figures amid changing societal dynamics.