Liechtenstein prince wins new powers

freedom       2003-03-17 
One of Europe's most bizarre and bitter electoral campaigns ended in victory yesterday for Prince Hans Adam II of Liechtenstein, after his subjects bowed to his will and voted to grant him sweeping powers over the tiny alpine kingdom.
In a referendum which draws a line under a decade-long power struggle in the world's sixth-smallest country, a majority of voters ignored warnings that they were ushering in a dictatorship and agreed to give Prince Hans Adam II von und zu Liechtenstein, Duke of Trappau and Jägerndorf and Count of Rietburg, far-reaching new powers.
The prince, whose family has ruled the wealthy micro-state at the heart of Europe for almost 300 years, had threatened to abandon his rambling medieval mountaintop castle and move to Austria unless the nation's 33,000 citizens gave him his way.