BERLIN (AP) — The future of Germany’s domestic intelligence chief is creating new strains in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition government following his much-criticized comments about recent far-right protests in the eastern city of Chemnitz.
Interior Minister Horst Seehofer told parliament Thursday that Hans-Georg Maassen retains his confidence as head of the BfV intelligence agency. Seehofer said Maassen explained his remarks “convincingly.”
Members of the center-left Social Democrats, the junior partner in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition government, made clear they don’t agree.
The killing of a German man, for which an Iraqi and a Syrian have been arrested, prompted days of anti-migrant protests in Chemnitz that at times turned violent.
In comments to the mass-circulation Bild daily last week, Maassen questioned the authenticity of a video showing protesters chasing down and attacking a foreigner.