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Slovenian MEP Thaler resigns amid corruption claims

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(LJUBLJANA) - Slovenian European deputy Zoran Thaler said Monday he was resigning from the post to allow a thorough investigation into corruption claims against him.

"I resign to allow an undisturbed investigation of facts and circumstances of this attempt to compromise me," Thaler told a news conference here on Monday.

He insisted that his "behaviour was in accordance with the law".

The European parliament on Sunday opened an investigation after Britain's Sunday Times reported that three MEPs -- Thaler as well as Austria's Ernst Strasser and Romania's Adrian Severin -- accepted offers of up to 100,000 euros ($141,000) per year in exchange for proposing amendments in the EU parliament.

In its report, The Sunday Times said Thaler, a 49-year-old MEP for Slovenia's rulling Social Democrats, had asked for the cash to be routed through a London company to keep it secret.

Thaler said that he met with the Slovenian parliament's anti-corruption committee on Monday, at his own request, to give a statement and present facts related to the report.

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