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Serbs Protest Street Named for Milosevic

September 01, 2006 10:24 PM

NOVI SAD, Serbia-Thousands protested Friday against naming a boulevard in Serbia's second-largest city after late President Slobodan Milosevic.

Some 5,000 people, blowing whistles and carrying banners saying "this street should be called the boulevard of Milosevic's victims," marched through downtown Novi Sad, some 45 miles north of Belgrade.

Milosevic governed Serbia with a heavy hand in the 1990s and was ousted from power in 2000. He was handed over to the U.N. war crimes tribunal to face charges related to the Balkan wars of the 1990s but he died from a heart attack March 11, before the trial ended.

The initiative to name one of Novi Sad's main streets after Milosevic was made by his Socialist and Radical supporters, who control the northern town's local government.

They also have proposed that the city council change the name of another street, named after former Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic.

Djindjic, who was assassinated in Belgrade in March 2003, was instrumental in ousting Milosevic in 2000 and extraditing him to the tribunal in the Netherlands.

"Djindjic's street is a one way street. Milosevic's street is a dead-end street," said another banner carried by protesters.

The Radicals, who were ousted from power in 2000 together with Milosevic, have regained popularity and some opinion polls have suggested they could win the next election in Serbia.

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