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Serbian rivals now united in coalition government

 Serbian rivals now united in coalition government
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Serbia’s new government has been voted in by Parliament. Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic, a close ally of President Boris Tadic, will steer the country through closer ties with the EU, and the political minefield of Kosovo’s independence moves.

His pro-European party has forged a coalition with the socialist followers of the late President Slobodan Milosevic, an unlikely pairing given their history of bitter rivalry.

Together, they now hold a majority in the 250-seat parliament. Although 96 deputies abstained from the confirmation vote.

Socialist leader Ivica Dacic, is Deputy Prime Minister.

Cvetkovic is the former finance minister, in a country where the economy is struggling, salaries are low and the unemployment rate high.

The liberal opposition has accused the pro-Europeans of making too many compromises toward the Socialists. The nationalist opposition has said it does not trust the new government to “defend Kosovo.”