“A Slovakia is not the first country to suffer physical attacks in the political domain. Attacks on political leaders are as old as the government itself. However, one of the greatest achievements of democracies is the fact that they have replaced weapons with words, violence with debate, but this progress can never be taken for granted”, wrote Charles Michel in a letter sent to Bratislava.

In a letter addressed today to the President of Slovakia, Zuzana Caputov√°, the European official added: “Currently, the hardening of public discourse is a new danger that is testing our democracies.”

The missive was sent the day after Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico was seriously injured in a shootout in Handlova, around 150 kilometers from the country’s capital.

This is the second case of attack on political leaders in the European Union (EU) in 15 days.

In early May, German MEP Matthias Ecke, 41, was attacked by a group of teenagers.

The candidate for re-election in the next European elections in June as the main candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) was attacked on May 3 and underwent surgery on Sunday after suffering fractures, as well as bruises on his face.

In the letter sent today, Charles Michel highlighted that “any violent attack against a democratically elected representative is also an attack against democracy and, therefore, against the people themselves”.

“There is no place in a democracy for violent attacks on political leaders”, stressed the president of the European Council.

The Slovak Prime Minister is conscious and can communicate verbally, said the country’s elected President, Peter Pellegrini, who managed to speak to Robert Fico today at the hospital where he was admitted after being shot on Wednesday.

Pellegrini said he was only able to speak to Fico for a few minutes, as the prime minister is very tired and under the influence of medication, local press reported.

The person responsible for shooting at Fico is a 71-year-old man, born in the city of Levice, in the southeast of the country, who was detained by the police at the scene of the attack.

The suspect was identified by the Slovak media as a local writer.

Robert Fico, 59 years old, was hit in the stomach by several shots, fired near the House of Culture, in the city of Handlova.

The Slovak Government announced today that the person responsible for the attack on the Prime Minister was accused of attempted murder and that the crime was politically motivated.

Read Also: Charles Michel shocked by attack on Slovak prime minister

Source: https://www.noticiasaominuto.com/mundo/2562363/michel-alerta-para-endurecimento-do-discurso-publico-apos-ataque-a-fico

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