Germany left-wing party Die Linke has asked the country’s parliament, the Bundestag, to vote to expel US ambassador Richard Grenell. The request from their parliamentary group points out that the envoy “actively interferes in the decision-making process of German foreign political and economic relations", as is quoted by the German newspaper Bild. That is why they insist that he should be declared a persona non-grata.
Die Linke wants to put the question on the Bundestag's agenda next week, according to the outlet. As an example of Grenell’s intervention in German policies, Die Linke’s application names his statements concerning the Russian-European pipeline project Nord Stream 2, the county’s cooperation with the Chinese tech giant Huawei over construction of a 5G network as well as German companies’ business dealings with Iran.
Apart from the left-wing party, the liberal Free Democrats (FDP) have also demanded that the envoy be sent away. The party’s vice-chair Wolfgang Kubicki has asked to declare Richard Grenell persona non grata.
"Anyone who acts as a US diplomat like a high commissioner of an occupying power has to learn that our tolerance also has borders", he posted on Facebook.
Grenell, who was picked by Donald Trump, became the US Ambassador in May 2018. He has caused irritation in Germany from his very first day in office when he tweeted that German companies should stop doing business with Iran after Trump announced withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran.
The discontent continued to grow over the year. Just recently, Grenell criticised Berlin for moving away from NATO's target to spend 2 percent of GDP on defence when planning the budget.
Earlier in March, media reported that Grenell had warned German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier that the US administration would limit intelligence data sharing with the German government if Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei was allowed to participate in the development of German telecom infrastructure. Commenting on this, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas insisted that Germany “can never be blackmailed".
Months before, in January, the German Foreign Ministry reportedly described Grenell’s actions as a "provocation" after he had sent letters to a number of German companies hinting that Washington could introduce sanctions for supporting the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project.