Controversy over constitutional protection president: Coalition postpones decision on Maaßens future

Controversy over constitutional protection president: Coalition postpones decision on Maaßens future

The governing parties have postponed their talks on the future of constitutional protection president Maassen on next Tuesday.
 Previously, the SPD had demanded his removal.
 In the meantime, the FDP is joining the demand for a dismissal of Maaß.
 Federal Interior Minister Seehofer had previously given backing to Maaßen.
 Because of the coalition dispute, a crisis meeting had been convened in the Chancellery for the afternoon.



    The party leaders of the grand coalition have postponed their talks on the future of the controversial constitutional protection president Hans-Georg Maaßen on next Tuesday. A crisis meeting between Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU), CSU leader Horst Seehofer and SPD leader Andrea Nahles had come to an end in the afternoon without further details. The governing parties are apparently still divided over whether Maaßen can remain in office.


    "It was a good and serious conversation with the aim of continuing the cooperation," Seehofer said afterwards, saying that the conversation would continue on Tuesday, until then silence had been agreed.


    The SPD leadership had previously demanded from Merkel to depose Maassen. "For the SPD party leadership is completely clear that Maaßen must go Merkel must act now," wrote SPD Secretary General Lars Klingbeil on Twitter with regard to Maaßens comments on xenophobic events in Chemnitz.


    Also for the Lower Saxony Minister of the Interior Boris Pistorius (SPD) Maassen is no longer sustainable. "The behavior of Mr. Maassen as head of the agency for the protection of the constitution falls back to the government as a whole, behind him you can no longer gather," he told the Süddeutsche Zeitung. "We are no longer allowed to watch as SPD." Pistorius is also a member of the SPD party executive committee.


    Because of the Maaßen staff, a crisis meeting took place in the afternoon in the Chancellor's Office, in which the party leaders Angela Merkel, Horst Seehofer and Andrea Nahles participate. Results are not known yet.


    Juso chief Kevin Kühnert demanded that the coalition with the Union be questioned if Maassen remained in office. SPD parliamentary group Eva Högl said in the Bundestag, the SPD parliamentary group hold Maaßen "unfortunately no longer for the right man at the head of the constitutional protection". She asked Seehofer and Merkel "to provide clarity", but concluded in interviews a breach of the government alliance.


    Federal Interior Minister Seehofer (CSU) had put behind Maaßen late Wednesday evening, after both had been interviewed by the Interior Committee of the Bundestag. In his budget speech on Thursday morning Seehofer underpinned his decision, while the voices of the coalition partner were louder, which demanded dismissal of Maaßens. The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution is subordinate to Seehofer's Ministry of the Interior.


    FDP for deposition Maaßens


    In the meantime, the FDP is demanding that Maassen be deposed. Domestic politician Konstantin Kuhle, who had experienced the intelligence chief on the eve of the Interior Committee, considers him no longer acceptable. "After today's revelations about the contacts between Hans-Georg Maassen and the AfD, the measure is full," said Kuhle, domestic spokesman for the FDP parliamentary group, on Thursday afternoon of the SZ. Horst Seehofer must dismiss the constitutional protection president immediately, said the liberal. "Just because a state election in Bavaria is imminent, the CSU can not afford anything." The Greens and the Left had already demanded the dismissal of Maass.


    According to research of the ARD magazine "Contrasts" Maassen should have passed information from the 2017 Conservation Report already weeks before its publication to the AfD. Maaßen rejected these allegations. The ARD quoted the AfD politician Stephan Brandner, Maassen had told him at a meeting on June 13, figures from the report, which was "not yet published." "We talked about different numbers in there." The report did not appear until five weeks later. It was about Islamist endangerment and the budget of the constitution protection gone.


    In an interview last week, the President of the German Constitutional Protection said that his authority had no reliable information for chases in Chemnitz. Also, there is no evidence that the circulating on the Internet, for the first time by "Antifa Zeckenbiss" uploaded video for "this alleged incident" is authentic. Critics accuse Maaßen of belittling the events in Chemnitz and of playing into the hands of right-wing groups or parties such as the AfD.


    Maaßen has long been synonymous because of contacts with the AfD in the criticism. On the basis of statements of a party drop-out, the accusation is in the room, Maaßen had given the AfD advice on how they could avoid observation by the protection of the Constitution. Maaßen has confirmed meetings with AfD politicians, a consultation but denied.

What else has to happen until something happens?
                        The case Maaßen is another example of the lack of resignation and retreat culture in the Federal Republic. An untenable head of the authorities is held by his minister Seehofer.
                    Comment by Heribert Prantl