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Coalition partners pull out of Slovenia's government

By Toby Vogel  -  31.01.2013 / 05:51 CET
Calls for prime minister to resign over corruption allegations.

Slovenia's centre-right government is teetering on the  brink of collapse after several parties in the ruling coalition withdrew their support for Janez Janša, the prime minister, over corruption allegations.

Two ministers from a junior coalition partner resigned last week, and the remaining coalition partners have threatened to pull out as well unless Janša steps down by the end of February.

Earlier in January, Slovenia's anti-corruption commission announced that Janša had repeatedly failed to report his assets fully, and that he was unable to explain the origin of some €210,000.

Janša has been on trial over separate accusations that he received kickbacks from Slovenia's purchase in 2006 of armoured personnel carries from a Finnish company. According to an opinion poll, almost 90% of Slovenes want Janša to resign.

But the centre-left opposition has been unable to capitalise on the popular dissatisfaction because its leader, Zoran Jankovic, is himself being investigated for corruption; according to the same poll, 86% of Slovenes want him to resign, too.

The anti-corruption commission accuses Jankovic, founder of Positive Slovenia, of having concealed assets worth €2.4 million. Jankovic is a millionaire businessman and mayor of Ljubljana, the capital, and narrowly failed to form a governing coalition after an inconclusive snap election in December 2011 which made Positive Slovenia the largest party in parliament.

He was detained last year together with two sons in an ongoing investigation of suspicious development deals involving public property. 

Demonstrations against unpopular politicians have swept over Slovenia in recent months. Franc Kangler, the mayor of Maribor, the country's second city, was forced from office in December following demonstrations against alleged corruption.

Slovenia, a small eurozone economy of just over 2m people, is struggling to avoid a bail-out for its failing banking sector. Last week, tens of thousands of public workers went on strike in protest against pay cuts.
© 2014 European Voice. All rights reserved.

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