Habsburg row shakes Austria

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The Independent Online
Vienna - The secret homecoming of Austria's exiled heir to the throne unleashed a government row between social democrats and conservatives in the new coalition cabinet. Felix Habsburg-Lothringen, the 79-year-old son of Austria's last emperor who was banished with his family in 1919, secretly crossed the border at the weekend and taunted the government by holding a news conference on Monday.

Authorities left the businessman alone, arguing he posed no threat to Austrian stability. But they warned him he would be prosecuted if he ever tried to sneak in again. The deputy leader of Chancellor Franz Vranitzky's Social Democrat party said: "We have no understanding for anyone who obviously still believes in the divine right of kings . . . and hence does not fully acknowledge the legitimacy of the republic." Reuter