Germany's Merkel says "spying among friends not acceptable"
Thursday, October 24, 2013 - 01:35
Oct. 24 - German Chancellor Angela Merkel described as ''not acceptable'' the alleged bugging of her mobile phone by U.S. intelligence agents. Mana Rabiee reports.
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That's how German Chancellor Angela Merkel described the alleged bugging of her mobile phone by the U.S.
(SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL SAYING:
"It's not just about me but about every German citizen. We need to have trust in our allies and partners and this trust must now be established once again."
Her chief of staff was less diplomatic, saying the allegations, if true, were indefensible.
(SOUNDBITE) (German) CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL'S CHIEF OF STAFF, RONALD POFALLA, SAYING:
"It would mean to me that these are proceedings that are totally unacceptable among partners and close allies. As far as I am concerned it would be a severed breach of trust."
U.S. ambassador to Germany John Emerson was summoned to Berlin's foreign ministry on Thursday to discuss the phone tapping.
The White House assures Merkel the U.S. isn't monitoring her communications and won't in the future.
But it's declined to say if she's ever been bugged in the past.
German politicians from across the main parties expressed outrage.
(SOUNDBITE) (German) CDU MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT AND CHAIR OF BUNDESTAG'S DOMESTIC AFFAIRS COMMITTEE, WOLFGANG BOSBACH, SAYING:
"Partners don't spy on each other. We need a drastic protection of German enterprises from economic and industrial espionage."
(SOUNDBITE) (German) CHAIRMAN OF CONFIDENTIAL PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE ISSUES, THOMAS OPPERMANN, SAYING:
"We want to speed up this investigation and this is necessary in order to make any further agreements with the Americans."
It's all happening just days after a report claimed the U.S. also collected millions of French phone records.
The spying allegations now promise to dominate a meeting of EU leaders.
At issue, how to respond to the alleged espionage by Washington against two of its closest European allies.
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