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Slovenia looks set to name an anti-austerity financial expert as its first female prime minister. The Alpine country is struggling to avoid a bailout as it tackles its worst crisis in 22 years of independence.

Alenka Bratusek is expected to replace conservative leader Janez Jansa and be given a one-year provisional mandate.

Ahead of a parliamentary no-confidence vote in the current government, the 42-year-old centre-left leader quoted a Nobel economics laureate in likening more austerity to “medieval medicine”.

She said her government’s priority would be growth and employment.

Jansa’s coalition partners have gradually abandoned him this year over a property scandal. He denies any wrongdoing.

The former Yugoslav country had the fastest growing economy in the eurozone when it joined the single currency six years ago.

But the economic downturn ravaged Slovenia’s export market, while billions of euros’ worth of toxic loans did the same to its banks.

It may be hard pushed to repay two billion euros of debt this year.

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