‘Despicable act’: European leaders condemn assault of Danish PM 

European leaders condemn assault of Danish PM. /IANS

Copenhagen, June 8 (IANS/DPA) European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Saturday called the assault on Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen a “despicable act which goes against everything we believe and fight for in Europe”.

The Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen was assaulted in a central Copenhagen square following which she has been hospitalised.

Charles Michel, the president of the European Council, said he was “outraged” by the “cowardly act of aggression.”

Frederiksen, 46, was left “shocked by the incident” on Friday evening in which she was hit while in Kultorvet square, her office said, but further details on possible injuries were not provided.

Police said they arrested a 39-year-old man after the assault and that he would appear in a Copenhagen court on Saturday. They have not said how the attack unfolded. Witnesses told Danish media that the prime minister was able to walk away from the scene.

The incident comes as the EU’s 27 countries elect hundreds of members of the European Parliament during four days of voting that began on Thursday. Voters in Denmark go to the polls on Sunday.

There has been a spat of attacks on elected officials at all levels in neighbouring Germany. Mayors, members of the national parliament and local councils, as well as candidates, have been punched, stabbed, spat at and harassed, prompting Chancellor Olaf Scholz to say the country’s democracy was under threat.

Last month the EU was stunned by the shooting of Slovakia’s prime minister, Robert Fico, in an assassination attempt. The gravely injured leader was taken home from hospital a week ago to continue his recovery there.

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