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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/2/2014 (10 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Green party leader says U.S. should respect Merkel's privacy

The situation is very ironic. With the annexation of Crimea and Ukraine threatened by Russian forces, it would seem that the United States and its European allies should be showing solidarity. According to Germany's Green party, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, set to visit U.S. President Barack Obama shortly, the U.S. should hand over her taped cell phone conversations before discussing Ukraine. There needs to be support and transparency among friends before we go against a perceived enemy . right?

Merkel's critics in her native land have accused her of mismanaging the fallout from the scandal.

Merkel's critics in her native land have accused her of mismanaging the fallout from the scandal.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/2/2014 (10 months ago)

Published in Europe

Keywords: NSA, Ukraine, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, scandal


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Close co-operation between western allies requires joint values - also in relation to the activities of our intelligence services," said Omid Nouripour, the Green party's foreign policy spokesperson.

Among serious revelations offered by National Security Agency whistle blower Edward Snowden, Chancellor Merkel's phone calls were closely monitored by the Obama administration - in addition to other key U.S. allies. A major embarrassment for all concerned.

"Trying to sit out the NSA scandal won't work: we can't afford to let the remaining open questions strain relations during on the current crisis," Nouripour said. He further suggested that a symbolic act of goodwill such the destruction of Merkel's NSA file might help to mend US-German relations.

That hasn't happened yet. The U.S. government has refused to allow Merkel access to her NSA file or answer formal questions about its surveillance activities, a recent query to the German Bundestag has shown. The NSA has reportedly kept more than 300 reports on Merkel in a special heads of state databank.

Merkel's office has been eager to lower expectations ahead of the first meeting between the two leaders since the revelations emerged last October.

Merkel spokesperson Steffen Seibert says a single visit would not suffice to clear up remaining questions over NSA surveillance, and therefore "concrete results in this area can't be expected."

Merkel's critics in her native land have accused her of mismanaging the fallout from the scandal. Trying at first to brush aside the implications of the information revealed by Snowden, the chancellor found herself at the center of the scandal when her mobile number was discovered on a list monitored by the NSA.

"I hope that the chancellor's visit to Barack Obama will help bring about an agreement," Thomas Oppermann, the Social Democratic party's parliamentary leader says. "The U.S.A. knows espionage is a crime here. The German judiciary won't just sit back and wait while the NSA continues unrestrained.

Even if Merkel avoids discussing the NSA scandal with her US counterpart, its aftershocks are still being felt throughout Germany. Big media companies and telecommunications providers have used the revelations as the pretext for attacks on U.S. competitors, with Deutsche Telekom launching an "Email Made in Germany" campaign and the CEO of Axel Springer publishing house criticizing "close connections between big U.S. online providers and the US intelligence agencies."

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