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Attack on Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen

Jesus Carames

June 8, 2024 | 9:24 a.m.

A man attacked the Danish Prime Minister, Mette Frederiksen, this Friday in the center of Copenhagen. The aggressor has already been arrested. The leader is “shocked”, but the Danish authorities have not given more information about Frederiksen's condition.

incident details

“Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen was beaten on Friday night in Copenhagen's Kultorvet by a man who was later arrested. “The prime minister is shocked by the incident,” her office said in a statement without providing further details. Copenhagen police and Denmark's national security and intelligence service confirmed the incident to Reuters but declined to provide further information.

immediate reactions

“She seemed a little stressed,” Soren Kjergaard, a waiter in the square, told Reuters after watching security escort the prime minister after the attack.

Danish Environment Minister Magnus Heunicke told X: “Mette is naturally shocked by the attack. I must say that it shakes all of us who are close to her.”

International sentences

The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has condemned the “despicable” attack. “It goes against everything we believe in and fight for in Europe. I wish you strength and courage; I know you have both in abundance,” she wrote on the same social network.

Other leaders, such as the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, also sent their support to the Danish leader. “The attack that has been suffered tonight is an attack against all of us who believe in a Europe of freedom, tolerance and peace,” Sánchez shared.

“Denmark is not like that. We do not attack our prime ministers. I send my best thoughts to Mette,” the vice president and Minister of Defense, the liberal Troels Lund Poulsen, also published in X. The leaders of the main Danish parties and several ministers also reacted on social networks, condemning what happened and sending messages of support to Frederiksen.

Political context

Mette Frederiksen, 46, has been head of Government since June 2019: the first term, at the head of a center-left coalition; and since December 2022, she has been at the head of a centrist Executive with two right-wing forces.

Precedents of political violence

The incident joins other recent attacks on politicians. The most serious has been the attempted assassination of the Slovak Prime Minister, Robert Fico, on May 15 in a shootout that left him between life and death.

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