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Serbia's catalyst for stability

The arrest of Radovan Karadzic signals that nationalists no longer speak for Serbia.

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With the arrest at long last of Radovan Karadzic on charges of genocide, Serbia has finally chosen 21st-century Europe over 19th-century chauvinism. We can all cheer, Serbs most of all, and thank the magnetic attraction of the European Union for this long overdue shift.

The country is now on its way to becoming a "normal, boring, democratic" Serbia, says Ivan Vejvoda, executive director of the Balkan Trust for Democracy in Belgrade.

Oddly enough, it all happened because the Democratic Party – the party that engineered the ouster of strongman Slobodan Milosevic in the 2000 Serbian election – has just joined the remnants of Milosevic's Socialist Party in a coalition government.

Last May, in what seemed to be a polemical single-issue election about the "loss" of a Kosovo that Belgrade had not ruled for eight years, Serbs shifted slightly. Instead of reelecting the ultranationalist Radicals as the largest parliamentary party, enough voters rejected chauvinism and the economic stagnation this brought and gave the plurality to a bloc led by the Democratic Party.


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