‘Shaken’ Danish PM cancels appointments after street attack

COPENHAGEN: Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen on Saturday cancelled her appointments after suffering a whiplash injury in a street attack that left her “shaken”.
Frederiksen’s office told AFP that she he had been taken to a hospital for a check-up after the attack on Friday evening in a Copenhagen square.
The assault has caused a “minor whiplash injury,” it said, adding that the prime minister was “otherwise safe but shaken by the incident” and her Saturday schedule had been cancelled.
French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday became the latest European leader to denounce the attack as “unacceptable”, in a statement on X.
“I strongly condemn this act and wish Mette Frederiksen a speedy recovery,” Macron added.
Danish police on Saturday said “a 39-year-old man will be brought before the Copenhagen district court for questioning” to decide if he is to be remanded in custody.
The hearing is expected at 1:00 pm (1100 GMT) and would be held in Frederiksberg in Copenhagen, they added.
Two witnesses, Marie Adrian and Anna Ravn, told newspaper BT they had seen Frederiksen arrive at the square while they were sitting by a nearby fountain, just before 6:00 pm on Friday.
‘Despicable act’
“A man came by in the opposite direction and gave her a hard shove on the shoulder, causing her to fall to the side,” the two women told the newspaper.
They added that while it was a “strong push”, Frederiksen did not hit the ground.
They described the man as tall and slim, and said he had tried to hurry away but had not got far before being grabbed and pushed to the ground by men in suits.
The attack was widely condemned by leading European politicians, including EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen, who said it was a “despicable act which goes against everything we believe and fight for in Europe.”
In 2019, Frederiksen became the country’s youngest prime minister, and kept the post after emerging victorious in the 2022 general election.
The incident follows a spate of attacks on politicians from across the political spectrum at work or on the campaign trail in Germany ahead of this week’s EU elections — with Danes headed to the polls for their vote on Sunday.
On May 15, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico was shot four times at close range as he greeted supporters after a government meeting in the central town of Handlova.
Fico, who survived the assassination attempt, was taken to a hospital in a nearby city after the shooting, where he underwent two lengthy surgeries.
On Saturday, Fico published a photo of him voting in hospital in the European elections and blasted the West for fomenting tensions with Russia.
“I voted in hospital”, the 59-year-old said, adding: “It is necessary to elect European members of parliament who back peace initiatives and not war”.


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