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Berlin unhappy with ‘anti-spying’ agreement talks with Washington

January 15, 2014, 14:24 UTC+3
Refusal to sign the document would lead to ‘a change in relations’ between the two countries, German politicians warn
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Protest against NSA surveillance in Berlin, Germany. July 29, 2013

Protest against NSA surveillance in Berlin, Germany. July 29, 2013

© AP Photo/Gero Breloer

Berlin, January 15. /ITAR-TASS/. Unwillingness of the United States to sign an agreement prohibiting digital espionage on Germany is causing distress in Berlin. Bundestag is set to discuss the ongoing talks on the agreement on Wednesday.

Strong desire of the United States to freeze the talks “threatens signing the agreement [between the EU and the U.S.] on creation of the transatlantic free trade zone,” said Elmar Brok, Chairman of the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs in an interview given to Neue Westfälische newspaper. “The U.S. presidential administration assumed a position which is unacceptable in relations between friends,” the German official stressed.

This attitude is shared by Stephan Mayer of the CDU/CSU, faction’s expert on internal policies. In an interview given to the Mitteldeutsche Zeitung newspaper he demanded that U.S. agencies operating in Europe “inviolately adhered to European and German standards for electronic data protection.”

 

In turn, deputy chairman of Die Linke Bundestag faction Jan Korte gave another interview to the newspaper, in which he criticized Berlin’s investigation of the digital espionage conducted by the National Security Agency. “Not one of the minimal efforts which were taken by the German government in this regard resulted in any sort of success,” he concluded.

Thomas Oppermann, chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) faction, announced that “Parliamentarian factions of the ruling coalition agree that the ‘anti-spy’ agreement between Germany and the US has to be worked out.” Refusal to sign the document would lead to ‘a change in relations’ between the two countries, he warned. 

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