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Why was Slovakia's Prime Minister attacked?
Why was Slovakia's Prime Minister attacked? | Europe In: 60

Why was Slovakia's Prime Minister attacked?

Carl Bildt, former prime minister of Sweden and co-chair of the European Council on Foreign Relations, shares his perspective on European politics from Tallinn, Estonia.

What was the background to the attempted assassination of the Prime Minister of Slovakia?

Well, we don't know everything. A person, 71-year-old man has been apprehended. But the background seems to be that the attempt was triggered by the climate of polarization that has been there in Slovak policies for quite some time, notably this year with elections, presidential one, last year with parliamentary elections, but even before that. So the lesson of this horrible act is that we have to be careful with the political culture and the political climate in our democracies. Otherwise, there's a risk-averse, triggering actions by individuals of this sort.

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Leaders of various political parties attend a televised debate ahead of Slovak early parliamentary election.

Reuters

Will Slovakia elect a pro-Russian premier?

On Saturday, Slovaks hit the polls in an election that has Brussels and Washington on edge. The wily left-wing, populist former PM Robert Fico, who wants to end support for neighboring Ukraine and block the country’s accession to NATO and the EU, is running neck-and-neck with the liberal Progressive Slovakia party.

Fico (that’s “FEE-tso” if you want to say it like a Slovak) has served two prior stints as PM. He was ousted in 2018 amid allegations that his associates had murdered an investigative journalist for reporting on corruption. Since then, Slovaks have suffered a succession of weak and unstable caretaker governments.

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