Danish prime minister: ‘Saddened and shaken’ after attack

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen made her first remarks after a man attacked her in central Copenhagen and led her to be treated in hospital for a minor whiplash injury.

Frederiksen expressed her gratitude on Instagram for the many messages of support following Friday’s incident. “It’s incredibly touching,” she wrote Saturday evening.

“I am saddened and shaken by the incident [on Friday], but otherwise I am fine. For once, I need peace and quiet. Both for body and soul. I need to be with my family and I need to be myself for a while,” the post read.

Frederiksen cancelled her participation in several events on Saturday and was also not due to attend any public appointments on Sunday.

The 46-year-old prime minister was punched by a man in the centre of Copenhagen on Friday evening. The police quickly arrested a suspect who has denied his guilt in court.

The man said that he had anything against Frederiksen, saying she was “a really good prime minister” and that he had been surprised to run into her on the street.

Police investigating the assault do not believe that the attack was politically motivated.

The Danish news agency Ritzau reported that the man was drunk and under the influence of other drugs at the time and that he was a Polish citizen who had been resident in Denmark for a long time.

Condemnation from European leaders followed the attack on Frederiksen, with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz among those denouncing the violence.

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. Voting in Denmark in under way on Sunday.

There have been at least two attacks on politicians in Germany in the immediate run-up to the elections. And on May 15, Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico was shot and seriously injured.