Germany: Ex-spy chief fired over controversial comments

Government sends Hans-Georg Maassen into early retirement after his criticism of coalition partners SPD

Germany: Ex-spy chief fired over controversial comments

By Ayhan Simsek

BERLIN

Germany’s ex-spy chief was sent into early retirement on Monday after his controversial remarks on the coalition government.

Interior Minister Horst Seehofer told a news conference in Berlin that Hans-Georg Maassen’s criticism of the coalition’s migration policy, and his remarks on coalition partner the Social Democrats (SPD), were “unacceptable.”

In a recent closed-door meeting of European intelligence chiefs, Maassen criticized the government’s migration policy as “naive” and described some politicians from the SPD as “left-wing radical forces,” according to local media reports.

Maassen, who had headed the domestic intelligence agency BfV for six years, is a contentious figure.

In September, the government decided to reassign him from the BfV helm to a senior Interior Ministry post after he publicly criticized government members for their remarks about anti-immigrant violence in eastern Germany.

He was also under fire by Social Democrats for his alleged contacts with senior politicians from the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), which touts an anti-immigration, anti-Islam platform.

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