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German government seeks to end standoff over spy chief

23 September 2018 12:03 PM
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German government seeks to end standoff over spy chief

Berlin — The leaders of German chancellor Angela Merkel's governing coalition are trying to resolve a standoff over the future of the country's domestic intelligence chief and stabilise their six-month-old alliance.

A deal last week to remove Hans-Georg Maassen as head of the BfV spy agency but give him a new job as a deputy interior minister — technically a promotion — infuriated many members of the center-left Social Democrats, the government's junior coalition partner.

The party wants Maassen removed for appearing to downplay recent violence against migrants, but conservative Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has stood by him.

On Friday, Social Democrat leader Andrea Nahles asked Merkel and Seehofer to renegotiate the deal. Merkel said she wanted a solution over the weekend, and the three leaders are expected to seek one on Sunday.


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