Belgrade, 22 August 2001 (RFE/RL) -- Serbia's ruling coalition agreed late yesterday to give greater autonomy to the multiethnic northern Serbian province of Vojvodina. Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic announced the decision after a meeting of the coalition, the Democratic Opposition of Serbia.
He said some powers will be shifted to the provincial government within weeks. He vowed more changes will follow in increments, with responsibility for education, health, justice, and administration to be handed to the provincial government by the end of the year.
The head of Vojvodina's provincial parliament, Nenad Canak, welcomed the decision as the best possible result to be expected now. The province won far-reaching autonomy in 1974 but lost it in 1989 and 1990 under Slobodan Milosevic, then the Serbian president.