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Massive protests against the right gover

Massive protests against the right government in Slovenia

Thousands of people rallied against Slovenia’s center-right government on Friday.

Slovenia’s government has been on the brink of collapse after two junior partners left the ruling coalition over corruption allegations against Prime Minister Janez Jansa. An anti-graft watchdog has accused him of failing to declare more than (EURO)200,000 ($265,000) in private assets, which he has denied.

Jansa has refused to step down, insisting that an election now would hurt Slovenia’s efforts to pull out of an economic and financial downturn that is linked to the EU debt crisis. Jansa’s government has cut public spending, including for health care and education, moves it says will keep the country from needing an international bailout.

But Jansa’s measures have been met with massive protests and strikes that have sometimes turned violent in the otherwise calm Alpine country of 2 million. The anti-government protesters insist that the cost-cutting is hurting the middle class and the poor but not the so-called “corrupt elite.”

The second crowd on Friday chanted “Thieves!” and waved anti-government banners as it marched through downtown Ljubljana. Several young music bands joined the demonstrators, who put a banner reading “Our property” on the Central Bank building.

Earlier, in a video address broadcast during the pro-government rally, Jansa said he was the victim of “lies, deceit and propaganda” by unidentified left-leaning groups, which had “robbed our country” in the past.

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