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Turbulent Thailand

Germany floats asking Thai king to appoint regent for next visa

Bundestag divided as anti-monarchy protests rattle Berlin's hands-off approach

 The Bundestag, Germany's federal parliament, has not formally investigated or debated the issue as yet, but its members are weighing the implications of Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn feeling more at home in Bavaria than in his own kingdom.    © Reuters

HAMBURG, Germany -- King Maha Vajiralongkorn's unexplained preference for living in Germany's southwestern state of Bavaria is testing Berlin's longstanding hands-off approach to his almost constant presence, particularly as anti-monarchy sentiment increasingly dominates pro-democracy protests in Thailand.

Thousands of young protesters descended on the German embassy in Bangkok on Oct. 26 and delivered a letter personally to Georg Schmidt, the German ambassador, requesting an investigation. Among other things, they wanted to know whether the king is conducting Thai state affairs on German soil, which would violate German law, and if he is liable for inheritance tax in Germany following the death of his father in October 2016.

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