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The situation has been complicated still further by the revelation in the German Tageschau newspaper of a meeting between Mr Maasen and Stephan Brandner of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party earlier this year. The Bild am Sonntag newspaper today said the BfV failed for months to act on reports from officials in two states voicing concerns about local youth chapters of the far-right AfD party. The issue has split the coalition along party lines, with Mrs Merkel’s main coalition partner, the centre-Left Social Democrats (SPD) demanding Mr Maasen be axed from his job from they see as an attempt to interfere in politics. Horst Seehofer has defended Hans-Georg Maasen from criticism (Image: Reuters) It is absolutely clear to the SPD he must go However, he retains the backing of interior minister and leader of the Christian Social Union (CSU) Martin Seehofer – who forced a showdown with Mrs Merkel in July over his demands for tough new curbs on immigration. SPD chairman Lars Klingbeil said: “It is absolutely clear to the SPD he must go. Anton Hofreiter, co-leader of the Green Party’s parliamentary group, said: “If Mr Maasen sets out such claims, he must unequivocally prove them. Far-right protesters in Chemnitz in East Germany (Image: Reuters) The demonstrations are the subject of significant debate within Germany (Image: Reuters) “If Mr Maasen sets out such claims, he must unequivocally prove them. Anything else would be irresponsible.” However, Mr Seehofer has publicly defended Mr Maasen, telling German newspaper Die Welt he saw no reason why he should lose his job. The crisis is the latest act in what is proving to be a turbulent year for Mrs Merkel.
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