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A member of the government cabinet in the southern European nation of Slovenia has said he refuses to resign after getting pressure from the prime minister to step down.

Slovenia’s center-right Prime Minister Janez Jansa wants Janez Drobnic to quit because he suggested cutting taxpayer funding of abortion.

Drobnic, the Minister of Labour, Family and Social Affairs suggested that Slovenia limit taxpayer funding of abortion only to cases when a pregnancy threatens the mother’s life.

He made the suggestion because Slovenia, like many other European nations faces severe underpopulation problems as abortion has depleted the country’s workforce and diminished its ability to support its aging citizens.

On Friday, Drobnic said he wouldn’t quit, telling the Pravda news service, “I believe there are no reasons for my resignation therefore I will not resign,” and saying he is doing his job properly.

As a result, Jansa asked parliament to oust Drobnic claiming his suggestion has “caused conflicts,” and saying he is not competently running the cabinet office.

He previously complained about the proposal and said Drobnic acted without first consulting other government leaders.

Drobnic is a member of the conservative New Slovenia Party which has partnered with Jansa’s Slovenian Democratic Party to form a ruling coalition. Pravda reported that there is no timetable in place yet for when parliament may consider a vote to remove Drobnic from his position.

[26Nov06, Ljubljana, Slovenia]