Danish PM cancels appointments after attack

Henry

Mette Frederiksen, the prime minister of Denmark, canceled her appointments on Saturday after she was attacked on the street the day before.

According to Frederiksen’s office, she suffered a whiplash injury during the attack on Friday evening in a square in Copenhagen. The attack left her in shock and her appointments for Saturday were cancelled.

France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, in a statement on Saturday became the latest European leader to label the attack as “unacceptable”.

“I strongly condemn this act and wish Mette Frederiksen a speedy recovery,” Macron added.

The Danish police said on Saturday that a 39-year-old man appeared before a judge for preliminary questioning in connection with the incident. He remains in custody until June 20. The police said it is not suspected at this stage that the attack was politically motivated.

Two eyewitnesses told the BT newspaper that they saw Frederiksen arrive at the square just before 18:00 on Friday while they were sitting by a nearby fountain.

“A man came by in the opposite direction and gave her a hard push on the shoulder, which caused her to fall to the side.” They added that although it was a “strong push”, Frederiksen did not fall to the ground.

They described the man as tall and thin and said he tried to flee but didn’t get far before he was grabbed by men and pushed to the ground.

The incident was widely condemned by leading European politicians, including Ursula von der Leyen, the head of the EU Commission, who said it was a “despicable act that goes against everything we believe and stand for in Europe”.

Frederiksen became the country’s youngest prime minister in 2019 and retained the post after emerging victorious in the 2022 general election.

The incident follows a spate of attacks on politicians from across the political spectrum in Germany ahead of this week’s EU elections, with the Danes heading to the polls tomorrow (Sunday) to cast their vote.

On May 15, the Slovak Prime Minister, Robert Fico, was shot four times at close range when he greeted supporters after a government meeting in the central town of Handlova.

Although Fico survived the assassination attempt, after the shooting he was taken to a hospital in a nearby city where he underwent two operations.