>> Germany's spy chief is being replaced following accusations he harbored Far Right sympathies. But the clumsy compromise by Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition to smooth over the scandal has exposed a loveless government partnership. As Reuters Chief Correspondent in Berlin, Paul Carroll explains.>> Merkel and the leaders of her coalition government hoped that by ousting Maassen, they would end a scandal surrounding him that's gone on for about 11 days.
That scandal blew up when he questioned the authenticity of video appearing to show Far Right protesters hounding migrants during protests in the eastern city of Chemnitz. However, their solution to the scandal was to essentially promote Maassen out of his job as Domestic Intelligence Chief and to give him a better pay job as a State Secretary in the Interior Ministry.
And that has caused a lot of ill feeling among the rank and file of their governing parties. Particularly among the left leaning social democrats with their members calling this a disaster, and even questioning whether they should remain in the coalition government with Merkel and her conservatives.>> But with polls suggesting that all three parties would suffer if a snap election were called, the leaders have no interest in blowing up this dysfunctional partnership.
>> The risk however is is that this government limps on, that it does stagger on because no one in it wants to end it. But the leaders lose authority and that we get a kind of policy drift. Just as Germany at the center of Europe, and indeed Europe as a whole, needs leadership.