Slovak PM Fico Stable but in Serious Condition After Assassination Attempt

BANSKA BYSTRICA, Slovakia – Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico’s condition has stabilized but remains serious, following an assassination attempt on Wednesday, the country’s health minister reported on Saturday.

Deputy Prime Minister Robert Kalinak stated that Fico would not be transferred to the capital, Bratislava, from the small-town hospital near the site of the attack, where he was shot five times at point-blank range. Kalinak noted that while Fico’s official duties had not been formally reassigned, there was some communication with the prime minister.

Fico underwent a two-hour operation on Friday, which has increased hopes for his recovery. The assassination attempt has sent shockwaves throughout Europe and raised concerns about the polarized and tense political climate 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 report that he is a 71-year-old former security guard at a shopping mall and the author of three poetry collections.