NSA surveillance: Spain demands US explain ‘monitoring’

Barcelona, Spain

Source: BBC

Spain has urged the US to give details of any eavesdropping, amid that reports it monitored 60 million Spanish telephone calls in a month.

The US ambassador to Spain, who had been summoned by its EU minister, vowed to clear the “doubts” that had arisen about his country’s alleged espionage.

The minister, Inigo Mendez de Vigo, said such practices, if true, were “inappropriate and unacceptable”.

An EU delegation is to meet officials in Washington to convey their concerns.

The representatives from the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs are expected to speak to members of the US Congress and security officials to gather information about the recent allegations of US spying on European leaders and citizens.

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Spanish press review

Editorial in El Mundo: “The massive spying on Spanish citizens requires a strong response from the authorities… The foreign ministry should raise a formal complaint. Mariano Rajoy should join France and Germany in their initiatives. And as early as [Monday], the public prosecutor should denounce the NSA ‘for violation of the privacy of millions of Spaniards, which is punishable by up to four years in prison under Article 197 of the Penal Code’.”

Editorial in La Vanguardia: “The erosion of transatlantic confidence is evident and there may be significant consequences for the future of democracy unless a solution is found more or less immediately… In the coming days, a European delegation will visit President Obama to ask him about the background to the espionage. That should be the time to rebuild lost trust in each other.”

Editorial in ABC: “Obama is not the first president to spy on leaders of other countries, including allies. What makes Obama different is that he is facing a terrorist threat of colossal dimensions, he is taking advantage of new technologies and he is a victim of the fragility of a world in which information flows unchecked and within seconds all secrets are revealed.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is also sending intelligence officials to Washington to demand answers to claims that her phones were tapped for a decade.

German media reported that the US had bugged Ms Merkel’s phone for more than a decade – and that the surveillance only ended a few months ago.

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Categories: Europe, Europe and Australia, Spain

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