Slovenia’s conservative government is on the verge of collapse after a junior partner quit the coalition Wednesday.
The Civic List party says it is quitting over Prime Minister Janez Jansa’s refusal to resign because of alleged corruption.
Jansa will now be forced to govern with a minority in parliament, until early elections are held.
Meanwhile, government offices and schools were closed Wednesday and hospitals were forced to cut services because of a day-long strike by government workers. Tens of thousands of civil servants marched against economic austerity plans, including layoffs and pay cuts.Slovenian officials say spending cuts are needed to avoid having to seek a bailout from the European Union.Slovenia was spared much of the turmoil that tore across other Yugoslav republics when that country broke up. But Slovenia’s once thriving economy has been badly hurt by the European recession.
(Photo: Slovenian prime minister Jansa, left, at a December 2012 European Council meeting with European Commission President Jose Barroso: EC Audiovisual Service)