Politics & Media: Reactions to the assassination attempt on Fico

Source: TKP.at, Thomas Oysmüller, 16 May 2024

Little reported reactions to the attempted assassination of Robert Fico – from German-speaking countries and the world. 

The Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico is not out of the woods yet, but he survived the first hours after the shooting and the emergency operation was probably successful. But his condition remains critical. The attack triggered a shock wave. TKP summarizes atypical and less frequently heard reactions.

Hate campaign

Let’s start with the mirror . Shortly after the attack, the newspaper blamed Fico himself for responsibility. The headline didn’t hold up and was then changed – the damage was still done – and the text also continues to blame Fico for the attack on him.

Journalist Norbert Häring writes: “ Even the most elementary rules of human decency no longer apply to those responsible for media who take money from US billionaires when it comes to the opponents of these do-gooders in the spirit of a Pax Americana.”

The BBC also hit out hard. In the reporting, Fico was accused of being paid by the Kremlin. Several times in the evening people came close to justifying the attack because Fico spoke out against unconditional military aid for Ukraine.

Shortly after the attack, the BBC also said: “Hungary, Slovakia and Austria are now opposing the common EU line in favor of Ukraine.”

In the German Parliament, Economics Minister Robert Habeck immediately picked up the ball. He did not use the attack in a particularly ambiguous way to create sentiment against the AfD. His short speech outraged many – Habeck did not mention the name of Fico, after all a political opponent of the Greens:

Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vulin gave a more detailed report. He said:

“What really happened we will find out in time, but the fact is that there was an incredible hate campaign against Fico in Slovakia and across Europe. We will find out whether the assassination attempt is related or not, but what happened is almost certainly a result of the hate and information campaign against Mr. Fico. This is absolutely certain. The reason for the hatred was Fico’s political position… You know, in the West different political positions are punished, and in different ways. Sometimes sanctions are imposed on you, sometimes you are shot at.”

Serbian media reported on the evening of the attack that Viktor Orban and Aleksandar Vucic, the heads of government of Hungary and Serbia, were planning to visit the hospital soon.

In Smer, Fico’s party, people have also started reacting. “I would like to express my deep disgust at what you have done in recent years, you, the liberal media, the political opposition, what hatred you have spread against Robert Fico, what gallows you have built for him,” Ľuboš said Blaha, Deputy Speaker of Parliament and Deputy Chairman of Smer. “Because of your hatred, he is fighting for his life today,” he added.

Of course, all EU leaders expressed their sympathy for Fico and condemned the assassination attempt. But the attack shocked more than just Europe.

The President of Cuba expressed “on behalf of the Cuban people and the Cuban Government our solidarity and our wishes for a speedy recovery.”

While there is already strong speculation about the background to the attack – the police have not yet made an official statement – the T-Online portal has gone particularly far out of the window. People there speculate without shame that the assassination attempt could have been staged by Fico himself.

The former Slovak police chief explained that the security apparatus had failed and recalled that a few weeks ago Fico himself had spoken about a possible assassination attempt and corresponding threats: “How were these threats dealt with?”

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