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Maribor Mayor Resigns After Violent Protests in Slovenia

The mayor of Slovenia’s second largest city of Maribor will resign after protests against his tenure turned violent, STA newswire said.

Franc Kangler, suspected of corruption and abuse of power, will step down on Dec. 31, the newswire reported today, citing him. His resignation will probably trigger an early vote for the city administration, according to STA.

Violent protests have gripped Maribor for the past several weeks. On Dec. 3, 25 policemen and 14 civilians were injured, local police said. Protests have spread to other cities including the capital, Ljubljana, where they also turned violent just ahead of the second round of presidential elections on Dec. 2. Former Prime Minister Borut Pahor won the post.

“Police will not tolerate hooligans and others that incite violence,” Interior Minister Vinko Gorenak told reporters in Ljubljana after being asked how the force plans to handle future protests. He urged protesters that gather peacefully to distance themselves from the violent ones.

Slovenia is grappling with its second recession in three years as the government of Prime Minister Janez Jansa works on an economic overhaul and savings measures to win back investors’ confidence and boost the export-driven economy’s competitiveness.

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