Fico: Slovakia to Re-evaluate Degree of Terrorist Threat

Prime Minister Robert Fico at (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, March 22 (TASR) – Prime Minister Robert Fico after Tuesday’s extraordinary session of the Slovak Security Council called in response to the terror attacks in Brussels on the same day conceded that Slovakia might increase its terrorist threat level.

The lowest degree of terrorist threat is currently in place in Slovakia. This hasn’t ever been increased, not even after the terrorist attacks in Paris in November.

“Other security units will soon hold sessions and will consider whether to change the level of terrorist threat in Slovakia. Hungary has already increased its level, while security councils in the Czech Republic and Poland are yet to be convened,” said Fico after the session, adding that the possibility of other terror attacks in other EU capitals can’t be ruled out.

It hasn’t been stated so far that any Slovak citizen has been killed or injured. Fico explained that there are almost 600 Slovaks working in the EU institutions, a further 200 at embassies and in NATO institutions and between 4,000-5,000 in employment elsewhere. Three employees of the Slovak Foreign and European Affairs Ministry were on their way to Brussels at the time of the attacks, but their aircraft was redirected to Frankfurt.

All Slovaks in Brussels have been sent a text message with basic information and advice. This was the first time that the Foreign Affairs Ministry has used this method of providing information.

Security in Slovakia has been increased as well. “We’ve put in place security measures that were introduced after the terror attacks in Paris. We’ve increased the protection of traffic junctions, airports, railway stations and public places. We’ll look at cultural, sporting and other social events that can draw crowds of people,” explained Fico. Interior Minister Robert Kalinak added that the number of police officers patrolling the streets has been doubled.

The Belgian capital was hit by several explosions on Tuesday. The blasts targeted Zaventem airport and Maelbeek metro station near EU institutions. The blasts have so far claimed the lives of at least 34 people, while 136 are injured. The Belgian Government has declared the highest degree of security alert.