Hans-Georg Maassen will not be promoted to the German interior ministry following his dismissal from the domestic intelligence service, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s fractious cabinet decided on Sunday evening after an outcry.
The disgraced former top spy will become a special advisor in the interior ministry, forgoing a controversial promotion and a €30,000 pay raise, the ruling coalition decided after a third emergency meeting to defuse the Maassen affair.
Leading politicians from Germany’s opposition parties have declined to attend a dinner in honor of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan scheduled during his state visit to Berlin next week. Demonstrators across Germany protested against the Turkish leader’s upcoming trip.
A whopping €270 billion in EU subsidies are unused, mostly because member states fail to claim the funds, the European Court of Auditors said. That’s almost twice the annual budget of the European Union.
Steve Bannon, Donald Trump’s former chief strategist, met Czech President Miloš Zeman near Prague Sunday for a chat about Europe and relations with Russia. A German far-right AfD lawmaker, Petr Bystron, attended the meeting.
Up to 7,000 demonstrators protested the planned destruction of the ancient Hambach forest near Aachen to make way for an open-pit coal mine.
Maritime authorities in Panama revoked the registration of the MS Aquarius 2, the last migrant rescue ship currently patrolling the Mediterranean Sea between Libya and Italy. “Reeling” NGOs said the decision followed pressure from Rome.
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Nurali Demir, a German religious figure, was arrested in Turkey on Friday and then released. Another German was released from jail in Turkey. These moves are likely to ease relations ahead of a visit by the Turkish president to Germany next week. (SZ, NDR, WDR)
The European Union is in discussion with Egypt, Morocco, Libya and Tunisia to reach migration deals similar to the one it has with Turkey, Chancellor Angela Merkel said.
The northern district of Emsland declared a catastrophe so it could get outside help to tackle a moor fire that is threatening homes. The fire was started by the army during missile testing on the moor.
Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, speaking ahead of today’s housing summit, said he wants a ban on the conversion of rental accommodation to owner-occupied homes to ease the housing crisis.
Economics Minister Peter Altmaier, speaking ahead of today’s housing summit, said the only way to alleviate Germany’s housing crisis is to speed up construction by relaxing building regulations and approvals.
Germany’s far-right AfD party polled in second place for the first time in the respected monthly ARD-DeutschlandTrend survey. It gained two points to poll at 18%, overtaking the SPD. Angela Merkel’s Conservatives finished on 28%.
The government will support an increase in the housing allowance for low earners at today’s housing summit. The meeting, hosted by Chancellor Angela Merkel, is due to address Germany’s housing crisis.
Some 47% of Germans are in favor of fresh federal elections, a survey revealed. Only 32% expect Angela Merkel to become chancellor again if a new vote is held. (Insa/Bild)