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LJUBLJANA: Around 100,000 public sector employees held a strike over pay cuts in Slovenia yesterday, with the government on the ropes over a corruption scandal that could strip the ruling coalition of its majority in parliament.
A junior partner in the conservative coalition, the Civic List, is promising to quit the alliance unless Prime Minister Janez Jansa resigns.
Jansa has been named in a report by an anti-corruption commission, which said he was unable to explain the source of some of his income. Jansa has denied wrongdoing and refuses to quit.
Hit by falling demand for its exports, the Alpine country is battling to stabilise its public finances and reassure markets to avoid becoming the latest member of the euro zone to seek an international bailout.
State employees are angry over a plan to lay off workers and cut wages by some 5 percent this year, adding to a cut of around 3 percent in 2012 as the government tries to narrow its budget shortfall to around 3 percent of national output from 4.2 percent last year.
The public sector strike closed almost all schools, kindergartens and universities in the country of 2 million people. Hospitals were offering limited care with reduced staff. Protests over the cuts and corruption allegations have caused regular disruption and sometimes turned violent.