Slovakia votes in EU elections in wake of PM Fico’s shooting

Slovakia on Saturday opened its polling stations in EU-wide elections, under the shadow of last month’s shooting of Prime Minister Robert Fico.

It marked the halfway point of the four days of elections across the bloc to choose the next European Parliament.

Most of the EU’s 27 countries – including powerhouses Germany and France – will hold their votes on Sunday.

But Italy, the EU’s third-biggest economy, will start voting later Saturday, with its results likely to have a big impact on how the parliament is configured and on the future course of the bloc.

In Slovakia, the May 15 assassination attempt on Fico by a 71-year-old poet rocked the nation of 5.4 million and spread shockwaves across the EU.

A visibly thinner Fico had issued a pre-poll video describing his attacker as “an activist of the Slovak opposition” which he accused of “aggressive and hateful politics”.

“It was only a matter of time before a tragedy would occur,” the four-time PM said in the 14-minute video.

His party, which highlighted the attack in its campaign events, opposes EU arms deliveries to Ukraine and rails against alleged “warmongers” in Brussels.

Violence has occurred elsewhere in the bloc.

Late Friday, a man hit Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen in a Copenhagen square.

She was not seriously hurt, according to witnesses. Police arrested the assailant, whose motive was not immediately known. Denmark also votes on Sunday.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

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