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Slovenia the latest to feel anti-austerity protests

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Slovenia the latest to feel anti-austerity protests


Anti-austerity protests that have become familiar scenes in many parts of Europe have erupted again on the streets of Slovenia.

Thousands protested in the country’s second city, Maribor, just a day after a new president was elected on a campaign ticket that said the cuts were inevitable.

The post is largely ceremonial and demonstrators said the election of the former centre-left prime minister Borut Pahor will do nothing to improve the economy, which relies heavily on exports.

On a national level, it is the same old story – public sector pay cuts, slashing most benefits, raising the retirement age, and taking the axe to education and health.

Protesters said they want profound changes in society, not just changes in the names of the people in charge.

It was a more reserved picture in the capital Ljubljana but they were still calling for changes in the banking system and the machinery of democracy.

Slovenia joined the euro in 2007 but has now joined the list of countries only too well acquainted with recession, high unemployment and a banking system riddled with bad debt.

The country is struggling to avoid asking for a bailout.

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