Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Protest about US spying in German

The news that the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) has been collecting German email, online chat and phone calls, and shared some of the country's intelligence agencies have repeated what seemed like a relatively safe election race for Merkel.

As the opposition Social Democrats (SPD) ratchet up the rhetoric, the German press is wondering whether the counterattack could break and damage armor Merkel apparently untouched polling lead her conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU).

Chancellor initial attempt to deny all previous knowledge of Prism NSA spying program, has been met with skepticism from nearly all commentators.

In an interview with broadcaster ARD Merkel sought to convince voters with the promise that Germany would take "rigorous position" calling for an international agreement governing U.S. surveillance.

"It's all good, I'm dealing with it, I was full of encouragement to act, that's the message Merkel. And also: you do not have to choose other people because of that," said left-leaning S├╝ddeutsche Zeitung.

But for many people, once Merkel seems to be very shaky ground. Chancellor, "which so often seems to dominate the situation, apparently hesitant to spy scandal and how to deal with the United States," wrote Der Spiegel.

Her government "awkward humming and hawing" in the hope that "the right balance of self" before the country's entry into the ballot box in September just makes people more angry, write Emder Zeitung areas in Lower Saxony.

"It's annoying that so many politicians who pretend they do not know how the function of the secret service. Noble Agencies battling evil exists only in James Bond."

Anger does not show signs of easing ahead of elections looms large.

"The Cold War is long over," wrote the German region of the Mannheimer Morgen. "Germany is not an occupied country again, where the United States to spy on its own discretion, while the government know nothing or do not want to know and consciously allow the secret service to operate in the dark."

"Protecting the citizens justify many, but not all of them, especially not the systematic violation of fundamental rights by a foreign power," wrote the Karlsruhe-based Badische Neueste Nachrichten. "Angela Merkel's demand that the United States must comply with the German law on German soil revealed complete helplessness, as well as calls for international data protection statutes."

While Merkel rival for the top job Steinbruck colleagues finally directed into a full-scale attack mode, accusing Merkel of abuse of office and demanded a full explanation of German cooperation with the U.S. secret service.

But many have dismissed this as a pre-election hypocrisy, questioning what the United States spy on him tolerable as Finance Minister in Merkel's coalition government 2005-2009 consisting of Social Democrats and their conservative.

Steinbruck the "new aggressiveness in the spy scandal is not without risk," wrote Der Spiegel. "First of all it was just a few years ago that the Social Democrats in government are themselves ... And second, a lot of people would interpret the violent attacks of the candidates who are behind [in the polls] as an act of desperation."

But even if it's just a campaign, it may have a point about Steinbruck Merkel, the Baden-W├╝rttemberg Ludwigsburger Kreiszeitung suggested.

When he was sworn in as Chancellor, the newspaper said, "Merkel promised to 'safeguard and defend the Constitution and laws of the nation." To quietly tolerate [spy on German soil] means countenancing killed by foreign secret services Germany's national integrity.