Berlin / Tutzing (dpa) – The federal government has only very limited possibilities to control the stays of the King of Thailand in Bavaria and to punish possible violations of the law.
This emerges from a report by the Bundestag’s scientific services on behalf of left-wing MPs, which is available to the German press agency. Even though Monarch Maha Vajiralongkorn’s stays were for private purposes only, he was still considered a head of state and not a “private person”.
“As such, the monarch enjoys full functional and personal immunity under customary law abroad because he represents the ‘dignity of the state’ in his person,” the experts write. “Sovereign (mandatory) measures (eg telephone surveillance, quarantine, fines, etc.) against serving foreign heads of state who are in Germany are not permitted under international law.”
However, as an “ultima ratio”, the expulsion of the king in case of violation of the law is possible. According to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, accredited diplomats can be declared persona non grata, an undesirable person, and expelled. “This regulation can also be applied in a similar fashion to all other state organs located in the host country.”
Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas had recently threatened the king with consequences should illegal behavior be discovered during his stay in Bavaria. “Of course, I also keep an eye on the activities of the Thai king in Germany,” the SPD politician said. “And if there are things out there that we consider illegal, then there will be immediate consequences.” So far, according to its own statements, the Foreign Ministry has had no “reliable evidence” of illegal behavior.
Basically, the discussion revolves around the question of whether the king is ruling his country from German soil or not. He spends much of his time in Bavaria, owns a villa in Tutzing on Lake Starnberg, and stayed in a luxury hotel in Garmisch-Partenkirchen for some time during the Corona lockdown in the spring despite the ban on accommodation. But he’s been back in Thailand since mid-October. He should stay there at least until the end of the year.
The king’s stays in Germany are also discussed in the protests against the Thai government that have been going on for months. In a letter to German Ambassador to Bangkok, Georg Schmidt, protesters recently demanded to verify whether the king was carrying out his official duties on foreign soil.
The left are now demanding that the king be completely denied permission to stay in Germany. “Anyone, like the Thai king, can brutally bludgeon the democratic movement with the military junta, should not be rewarded by the federal government with a visa for a luxurious permanent stay in Germany”, said Bundestag members Sevim Dagdelen and Heike Hänsel. “The federal government can no longer accommodate the despot Rama X. and must work to freeze EU negotiations on a free trade agreement with Thailand.”