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EU says US jeopardizes war on terror by bugging allies

Leaders warn Americans that eavesdropping hurts relationships

25 October, 12:04
EU says US jeopardizes war on terror by bugging allies (ANSA) - Brussels, October 25 - Angry European leaders warned the United States Friday that spying on them puts at risk the fight against terrorism because it alienates allies.

Reports of electronic surveillance dominated meetings of the European Union government leaders who agreed to take strong joint action against electronic surveillance by the United States National Security Agency (NSA) after reports it spied on 35 world leaders, including the Italian government as well as German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

By jeopardizing the confidence of allies in the US now, future cooperation could be put at risk, the EU leaders said.

"A lack of confidence could affect the required cooperation in the field of intelligence gathering," which is considered a vital element in the fight against terrorism.

Earlier, Premier Enrico Letta said EU leaders were united in their demands for more information in the coming weeks.

They also want a protocol with the US on surveillance in place by year-end.

Still, EU leaders failed to reach an agreement on moving quickly on Europe-wide data protection laws, which some consider to be the EU's most effective tool in halting NSA eavesdropping.