Germany says 'Cold War' behavior by U.S. would be unacceptable

BERLIN Mon Jul 1, 2013 5:57am EDT

German Chancellor Angela Merkel chats with German government spokesman Steffen Seibert (R) before the weekly cabinet meeting in Berlin, September 19, 2012. REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz

German Chancellor Angela Merkel chats with German government spokesman Steffen Seibert (R) before the weekly cabinet meeting in Berlin, September 19, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Tobias Schwarz

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BERLIN (Reuters) - The German government said on Monday if media reports of large-scale U.S. spying on the European Union were confirmed, it would be unacceptable Cold War-style behavior between partners who require mutual trust to forge a new transatlantic trade area.

"If it is confirmed that diplomatic representations of the European Union and individual European countries have been spied upon, we will clearly say that bugging friends is unacceptable," said Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman, Steffen Seibert. "We are no longer in the Cold War."

Germany wanted an EU-U.S. free trade deal which would foster economic growth and job creation, said Seibert. But he added: "Mutual trust is necessary in order to come to an agreement."

(Reporting by Stephen Brown, Annika Breidthardt and Michelle Martin)

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