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The Latest: German coalition reaches deal on spy chief

September 23, 2018
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FILE -- In this Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018 photo Hans-Georg Maassen, left, head of the German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, and German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, right, shake hands as they arrive for a hearing at the home affairs committee of the German federal parliament, Bundestag, in Berlin, Germany. The leaders of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's governing coalition were trying Sunday to resolve a standoff over the future of the country's domestic intelligence chief and stabilize their six-month-old alliance. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

BERLIN (AP) — The Latest on a standoff in Germany’s governing coalition over the future of the country’s domestic intelligence chief (all times local):

8:25 p.m.

Germany’s interior minister says leaders of the governing coalition have reached a deal to resolve a dispute over the future of the country’s domestic intelligence chief.

Horst Seehofer said Sunday that Hans-Georg Maassen, currently the head of the BfV spy agency, will become a “special adviser” at the interior ministry for “European and international matters.”

The center-left Social Democrats wanted Hans-Georg Maassen removed as head of the BfV spy agency for appearing to downplay recent violence against migrants, but the conservative Seehofer has stood by him.

An initial deal last week to remove Maassen from the BfV but make him a deputy interior minister, a promotion with a hefty pay increase, prompted such a backlash that Social Democrat leader Andrea Nahles called for its renegotiation. Maassen’s pay will now remain unchanged.

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7:20 p.m.

German media are reporting that leaders of the country’s governing coalition are moving toward a deal to defuse a dispute on the future of the country’s domestic intelligence chief.

The center-left Social Democrats want Hans-Georg Maassen removed as head of the BfV spy agency for appearing to downplay recent violence against migrants, but conservative Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has stood by him.

An initial deal last week to remove Maassen from the BfV but make him a deputy interior minister, a promotion with a hefty pay rise, prompted such a backlash that Social Democrat leader Andrea Nahles called for its renegotiation.

News agency dpa reported Sunday, citing unidentified coalition sources, that Maassen will instead become a “special representative” at Seehofer’s ministry without a salary increase.

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10 a.m.

The leaders of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s governing coalition are trying to resolve a standoff over the future of the country’s domestic intelligence chief and stabilize their six-month-old alliance.

A deal last week to remove Hans-Georg Maassen as head of the BfV spy agency but give him a new job as a deputy interior minister — technically a promotion — infuriated many members of the center-left Social Democrats, the government’s junior coalition partner.

The party wants Maassen removed for appearing to downplay recent violence against migrants, but conservative Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has stood by him.

On Friday, Social Democrat leader Andrea Nahles asked Merkel and Seehofer to renegotiate the deal. Merkel said she wanted a solution over the weekend, and the three leaders are expected to seek one on Sunday.

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