Germans abandon hope of US 'no-spy' treaty
Germany has all but given up hope of securing a "no-spy" treaty with the USA in the wake of the NSA scandal, according to reports on Tuesday.
Although talks between Germany’s security agencies and their American counterparts are officially still ongoing, the German government has little hope of a bilateral treaty which would stop the US spying on the German government, the Süddeutsche Zeitung and broadcaster NDR reported, quoting a high ranking civil servant.
Documents leaked by US security contractor Edward Snowden revealed a mass surveillance programme being run by the US National Security Agency (NSA).
In October it emerged the NSA had been tapping Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone and allegedly ran a listening station from the US Embassy in Berlin, right in the centre of the German government quarter.
The idea of one its closest allies was apparently spying on it so energetically provoked outrage in Germany - and apologies from the USA.
But talks to reach a “no spy” agreement appear to have stalled.
The Süddeutsche headlined its report: “The Americans have lied to us”.
The report said Washington had not met Berlin’s key demands which included a promise to stop listening to politicians’ phone calls, give German officials access to the alleged listening station in the US Embassy, explain how long Merkel’s phone was monitored, and state whether or not she was the only prominent Germany politician to be targeted.
The civil servant told the paper: “We’re getting nothing.”
The Süddeutsche also said that the head of Germany’s foreign intelligence agency (BND) Gerhard Schindler had told colleagues that he would rather not the sign the deal in its current form. “There is great bitterness," the paper added.
A government spokesman said the talks between the US and Germany were ongoing and they hoped to “get something in the next three months.”