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Slovenia chooses a new president amid bailout rumours

2 December 2012

Slovenians are voting in a presidential run-off today, aware that the era of being the eurozone’s fastest growing economy is now a distant memory. Incumbent Danilo Turk, who has presided over a sharp drop in living standards, goes head to head with former Prime Minister Borut Pahor. Pahor is predicted to win a landslide. But voters we spoke to are sceptical that either candidate can turn back the clock. “I am not convinced by either one of them; they are both largely the same. I know that all the polls say Pahor is in the lead and he will probably win, although surprises are possible,” said pensioner Slavko Njivar. Another resident of the capital Ljubljana, Smiljan Sosic said: “We have seen both candidates in power before. They are just going round in circles. But in fact there are no changes. There are no real people and I think there will not be any changes after these elections.” On Friday, a rally through the capital Ljubljana against budget cuts and alleged corruption turned violent. Earlier this year, the conservative government cut all public sector wages and most social benefits to reduce the budget deficit. Fears are now growing that Slovenia could beat Spain to become the sixth eurozone country to request a bailout from Brussels.