• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Belgium, Netherlands probe BND spy claims

AFP · 30 May 2015, 15:32

Published: 30 May 2015 15:32 GMT+02:00

The separate investigations follow reports that Germany's BND spy agency helped the US National Security Agency amass a trove of data on targets in Europe, including the French government, European Commission and Airbus Group.

"If it should emerge that the reports of wide-scale eavesdropping by the German secret services are correct, Germany will have to provide an explanation," Belgium's Telecoms Minister Alexander de Croo said in a statement.

"A probe has been opened," Dutch government spokesman Ward Bezemer told AFP.

The claims -- and questions of how much the office of Chancellor Angela Merkel knew about the reported joint spying -- have occupied German politics and media for weeks, and are subject to two parliamentary inquests.

But the scandal is fast gaining pace across Europe, led by furious lawmakers from countries that reportedly fell victim to German spies.

"German authorities should cooperate with their European partners and not with the NSA," Peter Pilz, an Austrian European MP from the Greens party told AFP.

"We have to change Germany's focus in terms of intelligence cooperation, we have to bring them back to Europe."

Austria's government earlier this month filed a legal complaint against an unnamed party concerning "secret intelligence to the detriment of Austria".

France meanwhile said that it was confident the German government would take action on the claims, maintaining it still trusted its closest ally.

Story continues below…

According to various media reports, the snooping in Belgium took place by monitoring data carried through 15 cables, mostly operated by Proximus, the national telecom giant.

Lawmaker Pilz said he had proof that Germany's giant Deutsche Telecom also cooperated with the BND spy agency.

"This is a strange alliance between Merkel and the Americans," he said.

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
This Week in History
75 years since one of Holocaust's worst massacres
Photo: DPA

On Thursday, German president Joachim Gauck spoke in Kiev 75 years after the Nazis slaughtered 33,771 Jews during one of the worst single massacres of the Holocaust.

Six things you need to know about troubled Deutsche Bank

Shares in Deutsche bank plunged on Friday morning, dragging down other European banks and markets worldwide. Here are six things to know about Germany's biggest lender.

Deutsche Bahn jacks up prices for first time in 3 years
Photo: DPA

Germany's main rail provider, the state-owned Deutsche Bahn (DB), announced on Friday that it will raise prices on long-distance train travel.

Baby found alive in suitcase with skeleton in Hanover
File photo: DPA.

A baby has been found alive, along with the skeleton of another infant inside of a suitcase in Hanover, police reported on Friday.

Morocco to speed up repatriation of illegal migrants
Photo: DPA

Morocco has agreed to streamline the procedures for the repatriation of citizens living illegally in Germany, the royal court said late on Thursday.

890,000 refugees arrived in Germany last year - not 1.1m
Photo: DPA

Previous reports had suggested that around 1.1 million people entered Germany to seek asylum last year. But now the German government has confirmed the number was actually lower.

Racist attacks cast cloud over Dresden Unity Day planning
A police vehicle in Dresden. Photo: DPA.

As Dresden prepares to host Germany’s national Unity Day celebrations on Monday, the capital of the eastern state of Saxony is upping security after a mosque was targeted by a homemade bomb.

Sinking Deutsche Bank stock sends shock across Europe
Photo: DPA

Shares in Germany's biggest lender Deutsche Bank plummeted on the Frankfurt stock market on Friday, dragging other European banks and global markets down with it, after reports some customers were pulling money out.

The Local List
10 things you never knew about German reunification
Reunification celebrations in Hanover in 2014. Photo: DPA

With German Unity Day (October 3rd) happening on Monday, Germans are looking forward to a three-day weekend. But did you know these facts about reunification and German Unity Day?

Munich pharmacy’s nighttime porno show draws crowd
Photo: DPA

When a police patrol in Munich's Sendlinger Tor area noticed a crowd gathered outside a pharmacy window they went to investigate. But the onlookers weren't interested in a new line of flu medicine.

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
Lifestyle
10 German films you have to watch before you die
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
Lifestyle
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
National
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
National
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
National
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
6,718
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd