By Heini Järvinen

On 10 July 2014, the German government told the senior CIA representative in Berlin, known as the station chief, to leave the country over spying allegations.

The decision came one day after German authorities searched an apartment and an office of a German military intelligence official alleged to have been working for the US intelligence. A week earlier, a German intelligence operative was arrested on suspicion of being a CIA informant and admitted handing over confidential documents to a US contact.

Ever since the revelations in 2013 based on the documents leaked by Edward Snowden, US spying has been a sensitive issue in Germany. The two new cases of alleged American spying, together with the scandal raised by the NSA surveillance programs whose targets included chancellor Angela Merkel, have further chilled the German–American relations. Germany has demanded a mutual “no-spy deal” which Washington has refused.

“Spying on allies – – is a waste of energy. In the Cold War maybe there was general mistrust. Today we are living in the 21st century. Today there are completely new threats. We should concentrate on what is essential,” said Merkel. “I can’t say in advance if [the measures taken] will have an effect, of course I hope something will change. But the important thing is to show how we view things – – and it is not a co-operative partnership when such things take place.”

“Our decision to ask the current representative of the US intelligence services to leave Germany is the right decision, a necessary step and a fitting reaction to the break of trust which has occurred,” explained Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the German Foreign Minister. “Taking action was unavoidable, in my opinion. We need and expect a relationship based on trust.”

Despite the dissenting views on the work of intelligence services, both Germany and the US have highlighted their willingness to continue working closely together.

“It is essential that cooperation continue in all areas and we will continue to be in touch with the German government in appropriate channels,”

stressed a White House spokesperson.

Germany asks CIA station chief in Berlin to leave country over US spying row (10.07.2014)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/10959549/Germany-asks-CIA-station-chief-in-Berlin-to-leave-country-over-US-spying-row.html

Berlin tells CIA station chief to leave in spy scandal (10.07.2014)
http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/10/us-germany-usa-spy-official-idUSKBN0FF1GU20140710

Germany orders CIA station chief to leave over spying allegations (10.07.2014)
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/germany-expels-us-intelligence-station-chief-over-spying-allegations/2014/07/10/dc60b1f0-083c-11e4-8a6a-19355c7e870a_story.html

Germany “right” to expel CIA official in US spy affair (11.07.2014)
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-28260764

Merkel blasts US spying, hopes Washington will change tack (12.07.2014)
http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/12/us-germany-usa-spying-merkel-idUSKBN0FH0GL20140712

Hunting American spooks: Germany prepares further spying clampdown (14.07.2014)
http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/expulsion-of-cia-head-a-sign-of-tougher-german-response-to-spying-a-980912.html

 

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