Former spy chief faces boot from Merkel’s government

Germany

— Süddeutsche Zeitung reported that former spy chief Hans-Georg Maaßen, who was at the center of a scandal over the summer that almost brought down the ruling coalition government, looks set to be fired from the interior ministry after making “explosive comments” in his farewell speech.

— T-Online said the affair had “fired up a debate” about the future of Maaßen’s ally and protector Interior Minister Horst Seehofer.

— Bild said the CSU had lost “important ministerial posts” in the Bavarian government, as part of a coalition deal struck with the Free Voters.

France

— FranceInfo focused on Sunday’s independence vote in the French overseas territory of New Caledonia, where 56.4 percent of voters opted to remain a part of France.

— Le Monde‘s correspondent said the margin of victory was not as large as anti-independence voters had hoped.

— 20 Minutes said President Emmanuel Macron had launched his World War I centenary “commemorative journey” in Strasbourg Sunday night alongside German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

UK

— The Telegraph had an exclusive, reporting that Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab had demanded the right to pull the U.K. out of the so-called Irish backstop after three months.

— The Guardian quoted diplomats who rated the chances of the U.K. reaching a deal with the EU at “50-50.”

— Sky‘s website said citizens of Commonwealth countries who have never lived in the U.K. will be eligible to join the British army, with the defense ministry looking for solutions to plug a staffing shortfall.

Italy

— Il Fatto Quotidiano carried Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini’s comments on Europe, which will feature in an upcoming book by journalist Bruno Vespa. The League leader said he “will force Europe to reform itself.” Also in the book, former PM Silvio Berlusconi wrote it was “probable” that Salvini is envisaging an alliance of the League with the EPP in the European election, but that this is “frankly difficult to achieve.”

— La Repubblica reported that 12 people died as a result of storms in Sicily.

— La Stampa noted Sicilian President Nello Musumeci had asked Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte to declare a state of emergency in the region due to the wild weather.