Chancellor Angela Merkel has decided Germany’s domestic intelligence agency chief must go because she thinks he has meddled in day-to-day politics, newspaper Die Welt reported on Monday. The German government declined to comment.
Hans-Georg Maassen, head of the BfV domestic intelligence agency, has come under fire after he cast doubt on the authenticity of video footage showing far-right protesters chasing migrants after the fatal stabbing of a German man.
The debate over Maassen’s future has sparked another crisis in Merkel’s loveless ruling coalition.
The coalition partners are due to meet on Tuesday to discuss Maassen’s future. Merkel had said on Friday that her coalition government would survive the row over Maassen.
Merkel’s junior coalition partners, the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), have demanded that conservative Interior Minister Horst Seehofer fire Maassen over his remarks, but he has so far refused to do so.
A government spokesman declined to comment. Merkel on Friday had said the coalition would not break apart over the future of the domestic intelligence chief.
Die Welt said Maassen told a group of conservative politicians on Thursday: “Horst Seehofer told me that if I fall, then he will fall too.”