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    German MP Criticizes Merkel for Keeping Silent on BND Scandal

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    On Thursday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel testified on the 2015 espionage scandal where Germany's Federal Intelligence Service (BND) came under heavy criticism when it became known that it helped US intelligence agencies spy on European institutions.

    The Chancellor admitted that in March 2015 she was surprised by the reports about the BND's spying activities. She also stated that there were "technical and organizational deficiencies" in the work of German intelligence and pointed out that reforms have been implemented to make it more efficient and transparent.

    In an interview with Sputnik Germany, Bundestag MP and member of the German Die Linke Party André Hahn shared his impressions of the Chancellor's statements.

    According to the politician, Merkel "has long been politics" and is capable of formulating things in a vague and diplomatic way. Thus, everyone expected that her answers would be very reserved, although Hahn, personally, did not assessed it positively.

    "It was highly unlikely — although desirable — that Merkel would stand up and say, ‘yes, we made serious mistakes and violated various laws, so we learned the lesson and ask to forgive us,'" the politician told Sputnik Germany.

    In Hahn's opinion, Merkel should have promised to dismiss those responsible for the scandal from their posts and give guarantees that this wouldn't happen again.

    "This would be a clear, understandable answer, but unfortunately, Mrs. Merkel did not say anything," the politician noted, adding that the Chancellor's Office failed to fulfill its task of controlling the BND.

    "The Chancellor's Office is responsible for control of the BND and completely failed its duty, this is confirmed by all the evidence we have received so far. It was said to not be aware or even not willing to know about it. This is equally bad and in any case can't be justified," Hahn stated.

    In this regard, the politician demanded major changes no later than after the publication of the final results of the Committee's report, including the resignation of the employees responsible for the violation.

    The investigatory committee into the German Bundestag was established in 2014 and was tasked with finding out how and to what extent foreign secret services had been spying on European citizens, including German high-ranking politicians and top-officials. Later, a series of documents also revealed that not only the NSA, but also the BND was actively involved in espionage against German citizens.

    Thus, in 2015 media reports said that the BND had systematically spied on its friends and allies worldwide. According to Spiegel Online magazine, in many cases the BND carried out this policy on its initiative and not at the request of US intelligence.


    Merkel to Explain to Investigation Why She 'Didn't Know About' BND Espionage
    espionage, testimony, German Federal Intelligence Service (BND), Angela Merkel, Germany
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