01:58 GMT +320 November 2019
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    German-US Spy Scandal Spreading Like Wildfire Across Europe

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    Belgium and the Netherlands have launched an investigation into alleged espionage by Germany, blaming Berlin for assisting the United States in spying on its EU allies.

    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.

    "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," Alexander de Croo, Belgium's Telecoms Minister, said in an official statement.

    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.

    Meanwhile, the spy scandal is spreading across Europe, sparking fierce criticism from EU member states which were the apparent victims of Germany's intelligence agency and its American counterparts.

    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.

    Related:

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    Merkel Slammed Over Silence in Parliament on Spy Scandal
    Merkel's German Coalition Government Split Over Spying Affair
    Tags:
    France, NSA spying, spying scandal, European Union, German Federal Intelligence Service (BND), National Security Agency (NSA), Angela Merkel, United States, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands
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