Head of German intelligence replaced over Chemnitz row

BfV chief Hans-Georg Maassen criticised for playing down anti-migrant violence

 Hans-Georg Maassen will be moved to a new position within the German interior ministry. Photograph: Felipe Trueba/EPA

Hans-Georg Maassen will be moved to a new position within the German interior ministry. Photograph: Felipe Trueba/EPA

 

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

Dr 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 Dr Merkel and the heads of two other parties in her governing coalition, is a defeat for conservatives in her Union bloc.

The centre-left Social Democrats and some in Dr 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 für Deutschland, which he denies. – AP