Yugoslavia: The Shock of Recognition

Germany pressures its European partners into a compromise on independence for Croatia and Slovenia

It used to be a given of European political life that Germany, guilt-ridden by its wartime past, would not take a leading or controversial role in world affairs. The Federal Republic, it was said, was an economic giant and a political dwarf -- a state of affairs that suited its neighbors very well indeed. Last week the dwarf suddenly raised himself to unprecedented heights during a tense debate within the European Community on how to deal with the six-month-old civil war in Yugoslavia.

Only a week after the Maastricht summit, hailed as a major step toward E.C. unity, the Twelve found...

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