Europe News

German government agrees solution to spymaster deal that threatened coalition

German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer addresses the media at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, September 23, 2018. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said on Sunday that Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling coalition had agreed on a solution to a crisis over the future of Germany’s scandal-tainted spymaster that had threatened their alliance.

The coalition parties said on Tuesday that Hans-Georg Maassen would be removed from his role as domestic intelligence chief after he faced accusations of harboring far-right views but, in a move that prompted public outrage, also granted him a transfer to a better paid job at the Interior Ministry.

That compromise came unstuck on Friday when Andrea Nahles - leader of the center-left Social Democrats (SPD), junior partner in the conservative-led alliance - said it was a mistake.

Seehofer said on Sunday that the parties had agreed Maassen would work as a special adviser in the Interior Ministry in future without a pay rise.

Reporting by Michelle Martin; Editing by Edmund Blair