Slovenia PM to resign over corruption

Mayor of Ljubljana Zoran Jankovic speaking after an anti-corruption watchdog found irregularaties in his assets and bank accounts, and those of Prime Minister Janez Jansa, on January 9, 2013.

Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa has offered to resign as party chief over allegations of fraud from the country’s anti-corruption watchdog.

The premier offered a conditional resignation on Wednesday based on the opinion of his center-right wing party, who will cast a vote of confidence over the accusations and the leader’s defense.

“I will offer my resignation from the SDS (Slovenian Democratic Party) leadership to the party’s council on Wednesday,” Jansa said on Tuesday.

“If my arguments do not satisfy them that will also mean my resignation as prime minister,” he added.

Slovenia’s anti-corruption watchdog accused Jansa of withholding information of bank accounts and personal assets with a value of 210,000 euros between 2004 and 2012.

Mayor of Slovenia’s capital city, Ljubljana, Zoran Jankovic had also apparently concealed 2.4 million euros in assets and bank accounts, which the watchdog revealed on Tuesday.

Jankovic, also leader of the center-left opposition group Positive Slovenia, came under fire after the watchdog opened an investigation in 2011 on all parliamentary leaders to clear out corruption in Slovenia.

The commission’s findings come as thousands of Slovenians have protested over corruption in political parties and the government’s austerity measures.

On Monday, protesters demanded the resignation of all City of Maribor council members because of their association to former Ljubljana Mayor Franc Kangler, who resigned over corruption allegations on December 6, 2012.

A similar protest was held in the city on December 3, 2012. Police forces arrested some 40 people during the demonstration.

The recession-hit eurozone state has seen a wave of protests in recent months over public sector spending cuts and tough austerity measures.

GVN/SZH