Austria Files Complaint Against German Espionage

Austria Files Complaint Against German EspionageAustria Files Complaint Against German Espionage

Vienna lodged a legal complaint over allegations Germany’s intelligence services helped the Americans spy on European officials and firms. Chancellor Angela Merkel has defended Germany’s BND spying agency against wrongdoing.

The Austrian government has filed suit due to suspicions that BND, in collaboration with the NSA, may have spied on its authorities and companies, said Interior Minster Johanna Mikl-Leitner on Tuesday, DW wrote.

“Austria demands clarification,” she said, adding that “we have filed a legal complaint with the prosecutor’s office against an unknown entity due to secret intelligence services to Austria’s disadvantage.”

Mikl-Leitner said Austria’s security services were in contact with their German counterparts.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel defended her country’s intelligence agency on Monday against suggestions that it illegally assisted the US in spying on politicians and companies in Europe, including France’s Airbus, the main competitor of America’s Boeing aircraft manufacturer.

But the BND affair does not promise to go away quietly and has shown how dangerous it could prove for Merkel. Sigmar Gabriel, the vice-chancellor from coalition partners the Social Democrats (SPD), broke a Berlin taboo on Monday by discussing a personal conversation he had with the chancellor over the matter.

“Both times the answer was no from the chancellor,” Gabriel said, emphasizing that he had no reason to suspect she was not answering “correctly.”

He hedged his comments, however, by adding that if the allegations turn out to be true, “it would be a big strain of the faith of the economy in governmental behavior.”