Danish PM Suffers Whiplash in Street Attack

Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen was left shocked and suffering from whiplash after being struck by a man while walking in central Copenhagen. The assault occurred in a square in the city’s old town when a man approached and hit her. The attacker was quickly arrested, but his motive remains unclear.

European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen condemned the attack, calling it a “despicable act, which goes against everything we believe in and fight for in Europe.” This incident follows another attack on a European leader, Slovak PM Robert Fico, who survived multiple gunshots last month and has since undergone surgery.

Witnesses Marie Adrian and Anna Ravn described the assault to local newspaper BT: “A man came by in the opposite direction and gave her a hard shove on the shoulder, causing her to fall to the side.” They noted that while it was a strong push, the prime minister did not hit the ground and sat down at a nearby café to recover.

Frederiksen’s office reported that the incident left her “shocked” and suffering from “minor whiplash.” A 39-year-old man is scheduled to appear at a hearing at Frederiksberg Courthouse in connection with the incident.

The attack happened just two days before Denmark’s EU election. Frederiksen, leader of the Social Democrats, had earlier participated in a European election event with her party’s lead candidate Christel Schaldemose. Despite leading the polls, the Social Democrats have seen their support decline recently.

Danish Environment Minister Magnus Heunicke expressed his concern on X: “Mette is naturally shocked by the attack. I must say that it shakes all of us who are close to her.” EU chief Charles Michel also condemned the act, describing it as a “cowardly act of aggression.”

Frederiksen, 46, became prime minister in 2019, making her the youngest prime minister in Danish history. She gained international attention when she rebuffed then-President Donald Trump’s suggestion that the US buy Greenland, calling the idea “absurd,” to which Trump responded by calling her “nasty.” In 2022, she faced heavy criticism from a commission investigating her government’s decision to cull millions of mink during the Covid pandemic.

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