Europe

Junior partner says it is leaving Croatian government

The junior party in Croatia's ruling conservative coalition says it is leaving the government of Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic following a dispute over the finance minister.

The announcement Friday by the Most, or Bridge, party could spell the end of the governing coalition and raise prospects of another early election in the European Union country.

Most has refused to back Finance Minister Zoran Maric, whose resignation Croatia's opposition is demanding over his involvement with troubled retail giant Agrokor.

Party leader Bozo Petrov said, "We are no longer part of the government."

Plenkovic has said he can gather a new parliamentary majority.

Plenkovic's Croatian Democratic Union and Most formed the government six months ago after a snap vote. Their previous government collapsed last year, triggering months of political crisis.