Thai king can return to Germany without visa, Berlin says

BERLIN (Reuters) - Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn does not need a visa to re-enter Germany, where the monarch has spent much of his time since taking the throne in 2016, the Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

Reuters January 07, 2021 01:10:10 IST
Thai king can return to Germany without visa, Berlin says

Thai king can return to Germany without visa Berlin says

BERLIN (Reuters) - Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn does not need a visa to re-enter Germany, where the monarch has spent much of his time since taking the throne in 2016, the Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

The king, 68, returned to Thailand in October amid mass student-led protests demanding curbs to new powers he has taken, plus the resignation of the ultra-royalist prime minister, who first seized power in a military coup.

It is unclear whether the king plans to return to Bavaria - where he spent much of 2020, drawing criticism as he and his entourage stayed in a hotel during the first coronavirus lockdown even though hotels were supposed to shut.

In an answer to a parliamentary question from the opposition Linke (Left) party, the foreign ministry said the king has not needed a visa to visit Germany since he became head of state.

Sevim Dagdelen, a member of parliament for the opposition Linke party, said if the king needed no visa then the German government could not influence how long he stayed, but as a last resort could declare him persona non grata (undesirable person).

In response, a Foreign Ministry source said on Wednesday: "Even if a foreign head of state does not need a visa to enter the country, Germany is free to tolerate the stay or not due to its territorial sovereignty."

The German government has said it would be unacceptable for the king to conduct politics from Germany and Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in October it was monitoring his behaviour.

The source at the foreign ministry said it has no evidence that the king has conducted state business during his previous stays in Germany.

The Thai palace has a policy of not commenting to media and has never said anything about the king's time in Europe.

Thai protesters have complained about the cost of the king’s stays in Europe as well as his absence from the Southeast Asian kingdom.

In late October protesters marched to the German Embassy in Bangkok to present a letter asking Berlin to look into whether the king had conducted state business while on German soil.

The role of the monarchy in Thai politics has become a central issue for many protesters, who argue that accusations of disloyalty to the king have been used repeatedly to put down pro-democracy movements.

(Reporting by Emma Thomasson; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Snow-struck Madrid struggles with cleanup as severe frost grips Spain
World

Snow-struck Madrid struggles with cleanup as severe frost grips Spain

By Elena Rodriguez and Belén Carreño MADRID (Reuters) - Authorities struggled to clear ice and fallen trees from the streets of Madrid on Tuesday and temperatures in parts of Spain hit record lows after a snowstorm wrought havoc across the country at the weekend. Early jubilation at the historic snowfall, which saw skiers gliding through the streets and mass snowball fights, gave way to frustration as most public transport remained stalled and pedestrians avoided the icy streets. "You in Madrid are not ready for this," said Demetrio, a Ukrainian living in Madrid, who did not give his last name.

Trump disavows any responsibility for his supporters' Jan. 6 attack
World

Trump disavows any responsibility for his supporters' Jan. 6 attack

By Steve Holland and Andrea Shalal JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md./WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump, facing impeachment on a charge of "incitement of insurrection" on Tuesday disavowed responsibility for his supporters' violent invasion of the U.S. Capitol last week and said his remarks before the siege were appropriate.

Renault and Plug Power to develop fuel-cell commerical vehicles
News & Analysis

Renault and Plug Power to develop fuel-cell commerical vehicles

PARIS (Reuters) - French carmaker Renault and U.S. hydrogen specialist Plug Power have joined forces to develop hydrogen-powered light commercial vehicles, they said on Tuesday. The companies have signed a memorandum of understanding to launch a France-based 50-50 joint venture by the end of the first half of 2021, targeting more than 30% share of the fuel cell-powered light commercial vehicle market in Europe, their joint statement said