Eurosphere roundup: “Merkel possibly spied on by US…

MAIN FOCUS: Merkel possibly spied on by US | 24/10/2013

The German government has evidence that Chancellor Merkel‘s mobile phone may have been tapped by US intelligence services. Merkel complained to US President Barack Obama about the matter on Wednesday. The chancellor is only making the spying affairher business because she is personally affected now, commentators criticise, and call on Europe to join forces against US espionage activities activities.

Merkel’s phone tapped by the US, Germany claims


The German government has obtained information that the United States may have monitored the mobile phone of Chancellor Angela Merkel and she called President Barack Obama on Wednesday (21 October) to demand an immediate clarification, her spokesman said.


In a strongly worded statement, the spokesman said Merkel had told Obama that if such surveillance had taken place it would represent a “grave breach of trust” between close allies.


Stop whining about US spying

When Americans see the NSA as a threat to their own freedoms, they will rein it in. But be realistic ? spying is the world?s second-oldest profession
Data protection: France, UK lead rival camps at summit


SPECIAL REPORT / EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding is looking to France to spearhead a move to pull the data protection regulation up the agenda at today?s EU leaders? summit, fearing that the current conclusions leave the proposals exposed to delay.


The summit draft statement states that the adoption ?next year? of the EU general data protection regulation ?is essential for the stability and growth of the Digital Single Market?.

Germany and France to change US spy ties

Germany and France?s insistence on renegotiating agreements is likely to ratchet up transatlantic tensions over spying by US National Security Agency

US ambassador summoned in mobile row

Germany summons the US ambassador in Berlin over claims that the US monitored German Chancellor Angela Merkel‘s mobile phone.

Spying row pits US against European allies

U.S. relations with European allies were put to a harsh test on Oct. 24 as Germany summoned Washington?s ambassador amid growing European unrest at the latest reports of covert U.S. surveillance in Europe
US ambassador to Germany summoned to explain NSA bugging chancellor Angela Merkel

John B Emerson, the US ambassador to Germany, has been summoned to a meeting with Guido Westerwelle, the country’s foreign minister, over revelations that the NSA bugged chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone. Germans are pissed about this. The country’s defense minister told a television interview that the allegations were “really, really bad” and that there could be no more “business as usual” in US-German relations. Merkel herself is described as “livid.”

Merkel’s Europe: How her men run Brussels


In Brussels, Germans have shrugged off their postwar reserve and make no apology for shaping Europe’s future, taking key posts in EU institutions and pushing Berlin’s trade interests with vigour.


As Angela Merkel forms a new coalition government after a third successive election triumph, the conservative chancellor can build on efforts, in place since her first term in 2005, that have increased not just the number of Germans in senior jobs in Brussels but the extent to which they answer to Berlin.

Ukraine: Edging towards the EU?

Ukraine, to its sorrow, has always been on the frontier between Russia and the rest of Europe. Its name even means ?Borderlands?. For centuries it was partitioned between its neighbours. When it gained its independence from the collapsing Soviet Union it was politically and linguistically divided between the Ukrainian-speaking West and the Russian-speaking East. Many observers in the early 1990s expected it to fall apart sooner or later. The first line of its national anthem seemed grimly appropriate: “Ukraine has not yet died”.
EU reaction to the NSA Affair

The fallout from the NSA Affair and Snowden’s leaks continue, with revelations that Angela Merkel’s mobile phone was hacked causing worldwide headlines (though there’s been some criticism of Merkel for taking so long over these allegations, and indications that the NSA has been spying on German citizens, seriously, as Der Standard pointedly notes with the headline “Und ploetzlich ist es ein Problem” [“And suddenly it is a problem”]). The Guardianis reporting that the number of tapped heads of government is probably much higher, and the European Council has finally been roused too – it turns out that prime ministers don’t like to be spied on. Now everything from the halting of data-sharing agreements to cancelling the free trade talks is on the table (after all, it’s much harder to negotiate ifyou’re being spied on).
US-EU free trade deal could be collateral damage of latest NSA allegations

So we wondered what the big story of the European Council would be. Now we have the answer: Merkel?s cell phone. Der Spiegel today alleged that Merkel’s phone may have been targeted by US security services. Merkel called President Obama to make clear that she “unequivocally condemns such practices? and was told that the US is not monitoring and will not monitor her communications (which as German media commentators have identified leaves open the possibility that this could have taken place in the past). The US Ambassador in Berlin was also summoned for a dressing down which follows similar actiontaken in France over allegations the US also spied on French diplomats.

How does the British public feel about immigration?

Illuminating the huge gap between perceptions and reality. A report on research by Ipsos Mori for Unbound Philanthropy.

Last week was ?immigration week? on Sky News ? but, to be fair, most weeks are immigration week across large parts of the media. In many ways, this is only right ? immigration is an issue of huge national importance to the public, in the top three issues in our regular polling for many years, behind only the economy and unemployment.

Hot Dogs, Red Bull, and the Latest Conspiracy Theories About Poland’s Tragic Plane Crash

Three and a half years later, the debate over what caused a plane carrying top Polish officials to crash near an airport in western Russia, killing 96 people including the president and his wife, is still raging. Today, it’s less a back-and-forth between those who think the 2010 crash was an accident and those who believe it was an attack, and more a steady stream of accusations and conspiracy theories from the latter camp. A conference of “independent experts” in Warsaw this week, for instance, put forth evidence involving everything from hot dogs to Red Bull cans to a plane flying backward in fake fog

Europe?s digital economy needs a new foundation


Europe?s digital health requires many things, but without infrastructure investment, rapid digital growth won?t happen, write Alan Marcus and David Dean.


Alan Marcus is a Senior Director, Head of Information Technology and Telecommunications Industries, World Economic Forum. Dr. David Dean is a Senior Partner and Managing Director at The Boston Consulting Group.

Two sets of items top the agenda of this week?s European Council meeting: (1) digital economy, innovation, and services and (2) growth, competitiveness, and jobs. While each set is a separate item for discussion in Brussels, outside the meeting hall the two are increasingly intertwined. At a time when growth is generally sluggish, the European digital economy is approaching ?600 billion, or almost 5 percent of GDP, and growing at 10 percent a year?significantly faster than the economy as a whole.

Czech election day: Which political party will prove the least unpopular?

Someone is unhappy with the way things are going

Czech artist David Cerny is best known for his satire of EU nations that caused both outrage and amusement across the EU. Today his target is closer to home – the Czech political class and in particular Czech President Zeman, erecting a giant sculpture on the river Vltava that needs little explanation. Cerny’s feelings are widely shared and point to a general disillusionment with the political class ahead of elections on today and tommorow.

Spanish unemployment: A temporary turnaround?

New data on Spanish unemployment are out today. The headline figures look, once again, rather encouraging. The overall unemployment rate has fallen below 26% in the third quarter of the year, and there are 39,500 employed people more than in the previous quarter.

The collaborative model to complete Europe’s innovation eco-system

The EU should think at establishing an overarching authority for innovation, not in a formalistic sense, but inspired by the steering capacities which some of the most innovative economies in Europe have developed, writes Stefan Schepers.

Stefan Schepers is a partner and director of the management consultancy EPPA and Secretary General of the High Level Group on Innovation Policy Management.

Both OECD and the EU Commission rightly identify innovation as a central driver of economic growth and job creation; the two of them being essential to maintain Europe?s welfare societies.

Catalan Man Sentenced to Prison after Refusing to Speak Spanish

Carles Mateu, a man who refused to speak in Spanish during a routine traffic test in Valencia, was sentenced to six months in prison and had his driver’s license revoked for disobeying authority.

Educating Romani children: why Europe must make it a priority

Can education be the answer to the “Roma issue” in central and eastern Europe? A look at the challanges in one Roma majority school in Romania.

We?ve been discussing the ?Roma issue? for two decades. Why are the Roma different? Why are there so many problems integrating this minority and what can be done?

EU?s competition rules ‘stupid and counter-productive’, Montebourg says


EXCLUSIVE / Arnaud Montebourg, the firebrand French Industry Minister, launched a scathing attack on the EU’s “stupid” competition and state aid rules, claiming they are “counter-productive” because they prevent the creation of Europe-wide industrial champions. In an interview with, he also spoke in favour of a weaker euro to support exports and restart industry.


Montebourg, whose ministry for “industrial revival” mixes industry, SMEs, the digital economy and innovation, told that ?European rules are the rules of the old world”.

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