Hungarian Conservative

Assassination Attempt on Robert Fico Sparks Surge in Death Threats Against European Politicians — PM Orbán Also Targeted

Robert Fico and Viktor Orbán’s joint press conference at the Carmelite Monastery in Budapest on 16 January 2024.
Szilárd Koszticsák/MTI
The attempted assassination of Robert Fico has led to a significant rise in death threats against European leaders, including Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. Máté Kocsis, the Fidesz parliamentary group leader, attributes this escalation partly to left-wing media, accusing them of mastering hate speech and biased reporting.

Following the attempted assassination of Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico on Wednesday, the incidence of death threats against European leaders has escalated. POLITICO recently reported that Belgian Prime Minister Alexander de Croo has filed a complaint against a local radio presenter who allegedly incited listeners to shoot him. ‘The journalist called on listeners to “go ahead despite the security around that guy” and referred to the attack on Prime Minister Fico in Slovakia,’ De Croo’s Communications Director Barend Leyts said in a post on social media.

Additionally, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk shared a post on X in which a user wrote: ‘The Slovaks have given us an example of what to do with Donald Tusk if he fails on the CPK.’ This death threat referred to the Central Communications Port, a mega-project initiated by the former Law and Justice (PiS) government to construct a new airport from scratch approximately 40 kilometres southwest of Warsaw. Tusk’s new government has expressed skepticism about this project. Another user wrote: ‘Fico was shot today. Tusk has fear in his eyes, does he expect something?’

According to Euractiv, other European leaders have also received death threats following the attack on Fico. These include Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić, President of the Serb Republic in Bosnia and Herzegovina Milorad Dodik, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Kosovo’s Prime Minister Albin Kurti.

As the European elections draw near, divisions across Europe are more pronounced than ever. A significant factor, among others, is the continued demonization of right-wing parties and leaders. In the wake of the attempted assassination of Robert Fico, the comment sections of various left-wing Hungarian media outlets were overrun with hateful remarks. Many users drew parallels between Fico and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, with some even

expressing wishes for Orbán’s demise.

Comments like: ‘Slovakia is ahead in this too…’ and ‘We welcome this man (the perpetrator – ed.) to Hungary’ illustrate the severity of these sentiments. This hostility represents just the tip of the iceberg.

Máté Kocsis, the parliamentary group leader of Fidesz, also addressed the issue. ‘In the coming period, the legislature should consider how to manage these inflammatory comment sections. It has escalated to the extent that it has contributed to the events in Slovakia. In Hungary, we must curb this verbal violence, this virtual civil war,’ Kocsis stated in an interview with Inforádió, reviewed by Index.

Kocsis further suggested that media outlets should also reflect on their role in permitting hate speech to proliferate on their platforms. He highlighted that newspapers have a responsibility, noting that much of this content goes unmoderated.

‘I also personally hold many left-wing media outlets in Hungary responsible, as they excel at inciting hatred, biased reporting, and stigmatizing others. This includes Telex, HVG, 444, among others. The list could go on.’

As reported by Hungarian Conservative, Robert Fico was shot multiple times in the Slovak town of Handlová (in Hungarian, Nyitrabánya) on Wednesday afternoon. The bullets hit the Slovak PM in the abdomen and shoulder. Fico was rushed to hospital by helicopter, where he underwent a nearly five hours long life-saving operation. According to Slovak Defence Minister Robert Kaliňák, Fico underwent another surgery on Friday, and his condition remains very serious.


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The attempted assassination of Robert Fico has led to a significant rise in death threats against European leaders, including Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. Máté Kocsis, the Fidesz parliamentary group leader, attributes this escalation partly to left-wing media, accusing them of mastering hate speech and biased reporting.

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