Spain launches legal inquiry into U.S. spying allegations

MADRID Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:03am EDT

U.S. ambassador in Spain, James Costos (L), leaves the foreign ministry after being summoned to a meeting with Spain's European Secretary of State in Madrid October 28, 2013. REUTERS/Juan Medina

U.S. ambassador in Spain, James Costos (L), leaves the foreign ministry after being summoned to a meeting with Spain's European Secretary of State in Madrid October 28, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Juan Medina

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MADRID (Reuters) - Spain's public prosecutor launched a preliminary inquiry on Tuesday into reports that U.S. intelligence has spied on million of its citizens.

Attorney General Eduardo Torres-Dulce authorized an information gathering process after El Mundo newspaper reported on Monday that the United States had tracked more than 60 million Spanish phone calls, his office said in a statement.

Spain summoned the U.S. ambassador on Monday to discuss the allegations, which are similar to reports of U.S. spying in France and Germany that have caused a rare diplomatic upset between the Washington and its European allies.

Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo said if the reports were true it would break the "climate of trust" between the two countries.

El Mundo published a graphic it said was a National Security Agency (NSA) document showing the U.S. agency had spied on 60.5 million phone calls in Spain between December 10, 2012 and January 8 this year. It said the document was part of papers obtained from ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

On a visit to Lithuania on Tuesday, Garcia-Margallo stressed Spain's close ties with the United States and said negotiations over a European free-trade agreement would not stop.

"We work very closely with USA on security, we have some common topics where our positions are the same," he told a news conference.

(Reporting by Inmaculada Sanz; Additional reporting by Andrius Sytas in Vilnius; Writing by Sarah White; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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Comments (1)
MikeBarnett wrote:
The solution for persons of Spanish descent is simple. No person of Spanish descent should buy any product made in the United States of America. No country with persons of Spanish descent should sell any petroleum, natural gas, gasoline, or any petrochemicals to the United States of America. These bans should last for one year for each telephone call that the US NSA collected. These actions might gain the attention of the US regimes.

Oct 29, 2013 12:38pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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