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Irish MEP calls on America to explain EU 'bugging' reports

“The EU is not going to attack the United States. Supposedly, China or the EU was doing this on the US…can you imagine what the blowout would be?” – Gay Mitchell, MEP

Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

IRISH MEP GAY Mitchell has called on the US administration to explain weekend reports that Washington spied on offices of the European Union.

“We need some public explanation about this. The first thing is, we have to stop depending on leaks. We need a formal statement from the American administration. Did this happen? If this happened, why it happened, how it happened, who authorised it?” Mitchell said on Morning Ireland today.

The Fine Gael politician said he could not comprehend any reason why the US, as a “friendly government”, would want to eavesdrop on the conduct of business of European council offices.

He wondered if the alleged bugging could have been commissioned for commercial or trade reasons.

“The EU is not going to attack the United States. Supposedly, China or the EU was doing this on the US can you imagine what the blowout would be?” he asked.

The Guardian and Der Spiegel magazines reported yesterday that US intelligence services spied on the EU mission in New York and its embassy in Washington, as well as the French, Italian and Greek embassies.

Citing NSA documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden, the media outlets claimed 38 embassies and missions were targeted. Methods used included the bugging of electronic communications.

The White House has said it has responded to the allegations through appropriate diplomatic channels.

MEP Elmar Brok, the chairperson of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, has warned that the reports could change the relationship between the US and the EU.

Read more at The Guardian>

More: Observer newspaper pulls front page story about the NSA

Related: Row over US ‘bugging’ of EU offices

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