German govt agrees solution to spymaster crisis that threatened coalition

By REUTERS
September 23, 2018 22:10
1 minute read.
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Germany's interior minister said on Sunday that Chancellor Angela Merkel's ruling coalition had agreed on a way to solve a crisis over the future of Germany's scandal-tainted spymaster that had threatened their alliance.

The row initially erupted after domestic intelligence chief Hans-Georg Maassen faced accusations of harboring far-right views when he questioned the authenticity of video footage showing radicals hounding migrants in the eastern city of Chemnitz.

That prompted coalition parties to announce on Tuesday that he would be moved from his post to a better paid job at the Interior Ministry, a decision that sparked public outrage.

Andrea Nahles, leader of the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) which is a junior partner in the conservative-led alliance, said on Friday the plan was a mistake, prompting concerns about the fate of the coalition running Europe's biggest economy.



After a meeting between the parties on Sunday to hammer out a new compromise, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said they had agreed Maassen would work as a special adviser in the Interior Ministry in future but he would not receive any pay rise.

Seehofer, who said the decision about pay was a response to the heavy public criticism of the initial plan, said the coalition had not been at risk of falling apart over the affair.

Sunday's meeting in the chancellery was between Merkel, her conservative Bavarian ally Seehofer and the SPD's Nahles.

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