08:32 GMT +317 October 2019
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    Bayerns Ministerpräsident Horst Seehofer

    German Interior Minister Refuses To Fire Ex-Spy Chief Maassen

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    German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said he would not agree to demands to dismiss Hans-Georg Maassen, who was transferred to his ministry following a scandal.

    According to a deal struck on Friday between the ruling coalition parties, Maassen was said to take the role of state secretary in Germany’s interior ministry after being dismissed from the post of head of the German domestic intelligence agency, Reuters reported.

    However, this decision was criticized by Andrea Nahles, leader of the Social Democrats party, who said that it was a mistake, and urged for his complete dismissal.

    READ MORE: Germany's Intel Chief Dismissed Over Migration Dispute With Merkel — Reports

    Seehofer told Bild newspaper on Saturday that he will not bow to demands to dismiss the former German spymaster. “I emphatically reject the accusation that he is right-wing or takes right-wing extremist positions,” Seehofer said. 

    Maassen previously faced harsh criticism after he expressed doubts over the authenticity of the footage showing alleged attacks by right-wing activists on migrants in Chemnitz. In an interview with Bild Maassen,  he raised suspicions that reports and videos of Chemnitz residents "hunting down" foreign-looking people were fake, claiming he had reasons to believe they aren’t authentic.

    Politicians from both sides of the political spectrum criticized Maassen and demanded his resignation, recalling that he was accused of having ties to the right-wing AfD party, which has a harsh stance on immigration. On Tuesday the statement from Angela Merkel and the leaders of coalition parties, including Nahles, released a statement saying that Maassen will become state secretary of the German Interior Ministry.

    Chancellor Angela Merkel has said to Reuters that three party leaders want to find a solution how to proceed with the former spymaster next over this weekend.


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    dismissal, fire, protests, Chemnitz Protests, Alternative for Germany (AfD), Horst Seehofer, Hans-Georg Maassen, Chemnitz, Germany
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