Germany: Merkel grilled over US spying row

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Germany: Merkel grilled over US spying row

Germany: Merkel grilled over US spying row
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Chancellor Angela Merkel says a number of inquiries are underway into allegations of US spying in Germany.

She has come in for a grilling over the spying scandal – which has caused uproar on the domestic front – at her last major news conference before the summer break.

“It is being investigated at the moment – whether other secret services, not German services – have obeyed our laws on our soil. We expect this,” she told reporters in Berlin.

“We are partners, partners in our fight against terror, partners who are friends, partners in the same alliance.”

Last month, the United States confirmed the existence of an electronic spying operation codenamed PRISM.

It came after ex-spy agency contractor Edward Snowden revealed that it mines data from European and other users of Google, Facebook, Skype and other US companies.

In a separate leak, Washington was accused of eavesdropping
on EU and German offices and officials.

Away from the spying claims, Merkel highlighted lower taxes and record employment in Germany. But she warned that financial problems continue elsewhere in the EU and said “Germany will be fine, only if Europe is fine.”

“Our task in the coming years is to keep the euro stable and safe and to avoid a crisis like this in the future. I have said it before: we have done a lot to overcome this crisis, but it is not over;” added Merkel.

According to opinion polls, Merkel retains a strong following. It is support that she is hoping will follow through at the ballot box in two months time – when she bids for a third term in office.