September 21, 2018 / 2:12 PM / 8 months ago

Germany's SPD want to renegotiate spymaster deal with Merkel - source

Andrea Nahles, leader of Social Democratic Party (SPD) arrives for a coalition meeting with the CDU and the SPD parties at the Reichstag in Berlin, Germany, July 5, 2018. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) want to renegotiate an unpopular compromise reached with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives to transfer the domestic spy agency chief to the interior ministry, a party source told Reuters on Friday.

SPD leader Andrea Nahles has been criticised by members of her own centre-left party for agreeing to a deal that saw spymaster Hans-Georg Maassen removed from the BfV agency and promoted to a senior job at the interior ministry.

“The overwhelmingly negative reactions from citizens show that we made a mistake,” Nahles wrote to Merkel and Interior Minister Horst Seehofer in a letter seen by Reuters. “We have lost trust instead of restoring it. That should give us all reason to pause and reconsider the agreement.”

The letter effectively plunges the government in which the SPD are Merkel’s junior coalition partners into a crisis.

Reporting by Holger Hansen; Writing by Joseph Nasr; Editing by Michelle Martin

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