Tuesday 23 October 2018

Top German spy loses job after clashing with Merkel

Hans-Georg Maassen will be moved to a new position within the Interior Ministry.

Hans-Georg Maassen, former head of the German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (Michael Sohn/AP)
Hans-Georg Maassen, former head of the German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (Michael Sohn/AP)

By Associated Press Reporters

The head of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency is being replaced after clashing with Chancellor Angela Merkel over anti-migrant violence in the country.

Ms Merkel’s office released a short statement saying the head of Germany’s BfV spy agency, Hans-Georg Maassen, will be moved to a new position within the Interior Ministry.

The decision, which follows three-way talks between Ms Merkel and the heads of two other parties in her governing coalition, is a defeat for conservatives in her Union bloc.

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A demonstration in Chemnitz, eastern Germany (Jens Meyer/AP)

The centre-left Social Democrats and some in Ms Merkel’s party had been calling for Mr Maassen to be fired for playing down recent far-right violence in the eastern city of Chemnitz.

Mr Maassen has also been criticised for alleged improper contacts with members of the anti-migrant Alternative for Germany, which he denies.

Press Association

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