Home Business News Slovakian government blames the media for Fico’s shooting as tensions grow

Slovakian government blames the media for Fico’s shooting as tensions grow

16th May 24 4:00 pm

Following the attempted assassination of the Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico the deputy speaker of parliament has blamed the media for the shooting.

There are fears that this could lead to a crackdown on free media to allow independent voices to be heard.

The deputy speaker of parliament from the ruling Smer party, told opposition politicians and the media that the shooting of Fico, “this is your fault.”

“Because of you [liberal media], the four-time prime minister Robert Fico, the most significant statesman in Slovakia’s modern history, is currently fighting for his life,” he said.

It has been widely reported that Fico is an ally of Vladimir Putin and does not want Ukraine to join NATO and has made efforts to block military aid to Kyiv.

Fico is also a close ally of the Hungarian leader Victor Orban who is pals with Putin and shares similar views to the Slovakian Prime Minister and the Russian President.

The leader of Slovak National party (SNS) which forms the governing coalition blamed media outlets, opposition, and government ministers, Andrej Danko also slammed journalists over their coverage of the shooting of Fico on Wednesday.

The Guardian was told by senior editors at leading Slovakian media outlets they have concerns over the shooting and press freedom.

Beata Balogová, the editor-in-chief of the newspaper SME told the Guardian, “I would like to think that politicians will act responsibly and calm the emotions, but based on the first public statements of some representatives of the ruling Smer party, I worry that they will continue to polarise the society.

“Some of them already blame the media and its critical reporting as well as the opposition protests, which is a very dangerous road to walk.”

Peter Bárdy, the editor-in-chief of the news site Aktuality, said, “They are the only ones who have the opportunity to dampen emotions in the country, to adjust their vocabulary, their attitude towards public affairs, towards the political struggle, and towards the media.

“I think that we are at a crossroads, similar to how it was after the murder of journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancee, and we are deciding which way to go,” Bárdy, who was Kuciak’s editor, said.

“I hope that this will not be another attack on the democratic principles of the state and on the freedoms of its citizens. Slovakia needs to calm the situation, not its further escalation.”

“The bigger danger I think now is that this is going to keep escalating,” said Michal Ovádek, a lecturer at University College London.”

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