Brussels and Amsterdam have launched two separate investigations after reports emerged claiming that Germany's BND intelligence agency was assisting the US National Security Agency (NSA) in collecting data on a number of European organizations and companies including the European Commission, the French government and Airbus Group.
German Chancellor Merkel has been repeatedly criticized for her tentative stance regarding the NSA spy practice in Europe; now the Chancellor's critics have even gone so far as to claim that Merkel's government could have been in cahoots with the American intelligence agency.
As the probes have been opened, the question if Merkel's office was aware of the alleged joint spying torments both German politicians and journalists.
In contrast, Paris has expressed its confidence that Merkel's government would take all necessary measures in response to the accusations, demonstrating that it still trusts its longstanding partner.
According to some reports, German and US intelligence agencies were spying on Belgium by monitoring data passing through 15 cables, mostly used by Proximus, the largest of Belgium's three mobile telecommunications companies. Allegedly, Germany's Deutsche Telecom could have collaborated with the BND.