Yesterday, outside the House of Culture in the town of Handlová, Slovakian Prime Minister Róbert Fico was shot three times in the abdomen and arm. While the assassination attempt left him in a “life-threatening condition”, following emergency surgery, he is expected to survive. The attack was met with a flood of crocodile tears from the opposition parties and European bourgeois political elite, who for months have whipped up hysteria that Fico is a ‘Russian agent’. Cutting through all the hypocritical moralising, what does this dramatic event signify?

In the recent Slovakian parliamentary elections, Direction – Social Democracy (SMER–SD) emerged as the biggest party on a platform of economic concessions to workers, and withdrawal of support for the Ukraine War, to the horror of the European establishment, who lambasted the party as ‘pro-Russian’. We have no illusions in this party, but the fact is that SMER and its leader Róbert Fico captured support from the poorest regions of the country by channelling an anti-establishment mood.

In March Slovakia experienced an early parliamentary election after the right-wing coalition failed to function after just 16 months in power. The outgoing coalition was headed by Prime Minister Iveta Radičova, who took office in July 2010. Robert Fico's Social-Democratic party, Smer [Direction], won a massive 45% of the vote, taking 83 seats in the 150-member assembly.