Danish PM taken to hospital with minor whiplash injury after assault

by IANS |

Copenhagen, June 8 (IANS/DPA) Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen was taken to the hospital with a minor whiplash injury after a man hit her in central Copenhagen, her office said.

Frederiksen is "safe but shaken" by Friday's incident, the office said, adding that her scheduled engagements on Saturday have been cancelled.

The 39-year-old man, who police quickly arrested for the assault, was due to appear in a pre-trial custody hearing in a Copenhagen district court later on Saturday.

A full account of what happened in Kultorvet square in the capital's historic centre, as well as the suspect's motive, have yet to be released. Witnesses told Danish media that the 46-year-old prime minister was able to walk away from the scene.

Condemnation poured in from across Europe.

"Shocked to hear about the violence against my friend Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen of our ally Denmark. I strongly condemn all violence against our political leaders," wrote NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on the social media platform X.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen called it a "despicable act which goes against everything we believe and fight for in Europe," while French President Emmanuel Macron denounced it as "unacceptable" and wished the leader a quick recovery.

"I strongly condemn any form of violence against democratically elected leaders in our free societies," Finnish Prime Minister Petteri Orpo said.

"An attack on a democratically elected leader is also an attack on our democracy," wrote Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson on X.

The incident comes as the EU's 27 countries elect more than 700 members of the European Parliament during four days of voting that began on Thursday. Voters in Denmark go to the polls on Sunday.

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