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Issue #1617      November 6, 2013

Spain:

We will probe spy allegations

Spain says that it has begun a preliminary probe into allegations that the US National Security Agency had targeted the country. Documents published by newspaper El Mundo suggested the US had logged the details of over 60 million Spanish phone calls in one month alone.

But it could take weeks to decide whether to open a full investigation.

Madrid insisted it was unaware of any spying but was confident Washington would provide a proper explanation. But the US wasn’t the only Western state playing the spying game.

Former Greek foreign minister Theodoros Pangalos told Vima FM radio that his country’s National Intelligence Service had spied on US ambassadors in Athens and Ankara during the 1990s.

It stopped “because the Americans figured it out,” he said, and it didn’t reveal anything he didn’t already know. He said it had been “great fun” to sit down with a sesame seed roll and hear the US ambassador ask “someone from the State Department: ‘What is this motherfucker Pangalos doing?’ and hearing the other answer: ‘This motherfucker called me today’ and so on.”

Mr Pangalos said Greece could not be held accountable for the ’90s snooping because of the “statute of limitations” but that it should be a source of “national pride” that Greece was “first in the dirty work.”

But the world’s current champion snooper struck a more meek pose.

The US Senate intelligence committee announced a major review of surveillance operations, with chairwoman Diane Feinstein saying she was “totally opposed” to spying on “allies” such as France, Spain, Mexico and Germany.

She said the White House had told her that all surveillance of countries friendly to the US would stop.

But intelligence officials said there had been no overall policy changes regarding snooping on world leaders. A White House review is underway and President Barack Obama said the US may ban intelligence collection aimed at allied leaders.

Morning Star

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