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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 August 2005, 14:11 GMT 15:11 UK
Slovakia sacks economy minister
Slovakian President Ivan Gasparovic has sacked embattled Economy Minister Pavol Rusko after he refused to resign over a loan scandal.

Mr Rusko had been asked to resign following criticism over how he had obtained a personal loan worth more than $3m (1.6m; 2.4m euros).

Prime Minister Mikulas Dzurinda said Mr Rusko had lost the trust of three of the four parties making up government.

Mr Rusko, who denies any wrongdoing, had insisted that he would stay on.

He told reporters that his party, the ANO, would remain in the coalition for the time being.

The president, acting after a request from the prime minister, said Mr Dzurinda had assured him the government would continue, despite the trouble in the coalition.

The four parties in the coalition are the Christian Democrats, ANO, the Party of Hungarian Coalition and Dzurinda's Slovak Democratic and Christian Union.

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