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Slovenia's Conservative Government Collapses

Slovenia's Parliament on Wednesday voted to oust the one-year-old center-right government headed by Prime Minister Janez Jansa, following weeks of political turmoil in the Eurozone member-nation.

The Parliament voted 55 to 33 to oust Jansa's government. Incidentally, smaller parties in the ruling coalition deserted his government earlier this year after the state's anti-graft watchdog accused him of tax irregularities.

The development comes amid protests stirred by public anger over corruption allegations against Jansa's government and unpopular austerity measures implemented for reviving the country's economy, which was hit hard by the 2007-08 financial crisis as well as the subsequent Eurozone debt crisis.

Responsibility of forming the next government has been given to Opposition leader Alenka Bratusek who has 14 days to get parliamentary approval for her Cabinet. In case she fails to do so in the stipulated time, fresh elections will be called.

Nevertheless, she would become the first woman to lead Slovenia since its independence from Yugoslavia in 1991 if she succeeds in getting her Cabinet approved by the Parliament. Bratusek, who has previously worked in the Finance Ministry for six years, became a Member of Parliament for the first in the last elections.

Following the ouster of the Jansa government, Bratusek reiterated her opposition to austerity and stressed that her priority as the country's new leader would be "growth and jobs." She also rejected seeking an international bailout to shore up the country's ailing economy, saying: "I say it clear, there will be no Greek scenario in Slovenia."

Slovenia joined the European Union in 2004 and the Eurozone in 2007. It is currently in a deep recession sparked by the 2007-08 global debt crisis. Its national debt more than doubled between 2007 and 2011.

The country recently posted an unemployment rate of more than 12 percent and its economy expected to shrink by a further two percent this year. Moreover, its banks have accumulated bad loans worth nearly EUR 7 billion.

by RTT Staff Writer

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