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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Robert Dex

Slovakian PM Robert Fico's condition stable but still serious after shooting

Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico remains in a serious condition but has stabilised after Wednesday’s attempted assassination, officials have said.

The 59-year-old politician was shot at five times at point blank range in an attack that sent shockwaves throughout Europe and raised concerns over the polarised state of politics in the nation of 5.4 million people.

Interior Minister Matus Sutaj Estok said the suspected shooter, who was detained on the spot and charged with attempted murder, acted alone. T

The suspect had previously taken part in anti-government protests, he said on Thursday.

"We have not won yet, that is important to say," Deputy Prime Minister Robert Kaliniak, said, giving an update on Fico's condition in front of the hospital in the town of Banka Bystrica where he is being treated.

Kalinak said there was no need to formally take over Fico's official duties while some communication with the premier was taking place.

Fico underwent a two-hour operation on Friday that increased prospects for his recovery.

Police arrest a man after shots are fired at the Slovakian PM (REUTERS)

"We are succeeding in gradually nearing a positive prognosis," Kalinak said.

"In the initial hours, the prognosis was very, very bad, you know that shots into the abdomen are basically fatal, in this case (the doctors) managed to overturn this state and further stabilise the condition."

Fico still faced a "big risk" of complications, Kalinak said.

"The body's reaction to a shooting wound is always very serious and brings (the risk of) a number of complications, which lasts for 4-5 days, which is today and tomorrow."

He said it was unlikely Fico could be transferred to the capital, Bratislava, in the coming days.

Police have charged a man identified by prosecutors as Juraj C. with attempted murder. Local news media say he is a 71-year-old former security guard at a shopping mall and the author of three collections of poetry.

Since returning for a fourth time as prime minister last October, Fico has shifted policy quickly in what opposition critics called a power grab.

His government has scaled back support for Ukraine in its war with Russia, and is revamping the public broadcaster amid concern from critics about media freedom.

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