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German government declines comment on report Merkel has decided top spy must go

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By Reuters
German government declines comment on report Merkel has decided top spy must go
Hans-Georg Maassen, President of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution arrives for a meeting of the parliamentary committee, that oversees German intelligence agencies in Berlin, Germany, September 12, 2018. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch   -   Copyright  FABRIZIO BENSCH(Reuters)

BERLIN (Reuters) – The German government on Monday declined to comment on a report by newspaper Die Welt that Chancellor Angela Merkel has decided the domestic intelligence agency chief must go because she thinks he has meddled in day-to-day politics.

Hans-Georg Maassen, head of the BfV domestic intelligence agency, has come under fire after he cast doubt on the authenticity of video footage showing far-right protesters chasing migrants after the fatal stabbing of a German man.

The partners in Merkel’s ruling coalition are due to meet on Tuesday to discuss Maassen’s future. Merkel had said on Friday that her coalition government would survive the row over Maassen.

(Reporting by Andreas Rinke; Writing by Michelle Martin; Editing by Paul Carrel)