The days of Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico are no longer in danger, Deputy Prime Minister Robert Kalinak declared to the press on Sunday May 19, four days after the attack on the head of government. . “There is no longer any immediate danger to his life, but his condition remains serious and he requires intensive care,” said Mr. Kalinak, Mr. Fico’s closest political ally.

The prime minister has been hospitalized since Wednesday, when a man opened fire on him, hitting him with several bullets, notably in the abdomen. He underwent a five-hour operation on Wednesday and a shorter one on Friday, both at a hospital in the town of Banska Bystrica in central Slovakia. “We can consider his condition stable and the prognosis positive,” Kalinak said outside the hospital. “We all feel a little more relaxed now,” he added, adding that Mr. Fico remains hospitalized for the moment.

The man, identified by Slovak media as 71-year-old poet Juraj Cintula, fired five shots at Mr. Fico on Wednesday, hitting him four times. He was presented on Saturday before the criminal court in Pezinok, northeast of Bratislava, which ordered him to remain in pre-trial detention.

“All these lies.”

Mr Fico, 59, has been in office since his centrist populist SMER party won a general election in autumn 2023. He is serving his fourth term as prime minister after campaigning on peace proposals between Russia and Ukraine, a neighboring country of Slovakia, and on the cessation of military aid to kyiv, a measure that his government subsequently adopted.

The assassination attempt deeply shocked this country of 5.4 million inhabitants, a member of the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which has already been strongly divided politically for several years.

Robert Kalinak, deputy prime minister and Fico’s closest ally, criticized opposition politicians and some media on Friday for calling Fico a criminal, a dictator or a servant of Russian President Vladimir Putin. before the attack. “All these lies are the main reason why Robert Fico is fighting for his life today,” he said in a message published on the SMER website.