Slovak Prime Minister Given Prognosis

( – The prime minister of Slovakia, who has been in the hospital in serious condition after an assassination attempt that rattled the European Union nation at a time of deep polarization, was given a positive prognosis by doctors and will recover from his wounds.

On Sunday, May 19, the Slovakian Minister of Defense Robert Kalinak confirmed that Prime Minister Robert Fico received a “positive prognosis” while remaining in critical condition. Fico survived after an assassin shot the politician multiple times on Wednesday, May 15.

According to Kalinak, the worst of what was feared “has passed, at least for the moment,” although Fico’s condition “remains serious.” Kalinak said that Fico is in stable condition in a hospital in Banská Bystrica, about 17 miles from where the prime minister was attacked in the coal mining town of Handlova, which is about 85 miles from Bratislava, the Slovakian capital. After about two hours of surgery to remove fragments and dead tissues, he was stabilized but not quite ready for transportation back to the capital.

The 59-year-old statesman was visiting the town of about 16,000 that Wednesday. As he greeted supporters outside a town cultural center, shots rang out and Fico was hit in the abdomen. The incident was captured on video, which showed the prime minister reaching out to shake hands with people at barricades when a man came forward and fired five rounds before security tackled and arrested the culprit.

The hospital’s deputy director, Milan Urbani, told reporters that after consultations, the doctors concluded that Fico’s condition was no longer life-threatening. Urbani added that the patient’s condition remains “very serious” and emphasized that the prime minister “needs a long time to rest.” The deputy director said that the hospital concludes “everything will go in a good direction.”

The shooter remains behind bars and faces charges of attempted murder. Prosecutors told police to keep information about the assailant and the case under wraps, although some unconfirmed reports named the suspect as a 71-year-old amateur poet working as a mall security guard.

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