German citizens have less confidence in US
November 2, 2013, 11:40
Text: Arsene Hizriev
“The credibility of the USA was very high five years ago, when Obama came to power. Now the trust has declined very seriously,” – said the newspaper VIEW, the German political analyst Sascha Tamm. So, according to him, the Germans reacted after learning that the NSA tapped the phone of Chancellor Angela Merkel. The idea of a free trade zone with the United States, said Tamm, also losing popularity.
On Friday the Deputy of the Bundestag faction “Soyuz-90″/”Green” Hans-Christian Strebel published in Berlin a message of the ex-employee U.S. intelligence Edward Snowden, the Parliament and the state office of public Prosecutor of Germany. The night before, wrote the newspaper VIEW, Strebel met with Snowden in Moscow. The American said that the exposure of the activities of the national security Agency has brought to society benefits.
The former spy hopes that in the future will be able “to legally participate in the investigation of” all the circumstances of the surveillance by the NSA. He is willing to help Germany, which was one of the targets of U.S. intelligence.
As said before, Deutsche Welle, Berlin is now trying to sign with Washington, a bilateral agreement under which the us intelligence agencies refuse to spy on all government agencies, including the diplomatic missions of Germany. The signing of the Treaty should be to guarantee the respect of existing German data protection regulations and the rights of citizens to privacy.
Such a Treaty may be one of the issues discussed in Washington, where on Wednesday there arrived the delegation, which included foreign policy adviser to the German Chancellor Christoph Heusgen and the focal point for intelligence activities in the office of the Chancellor günter Heiss. On the American side in the negotiations involved the Director of National intelligence James clapper, as well as counselor to the President for national security Susan rice and Lisa Monaco. The content of the talks is not reported.
Recall, the confidence in the US fell in July – just after the first Snowden leaks about the massive surveillance by the NSA under the PRISM program. According to the survey, released July 4 broadcaster ARD, only 49 percent of Germans considered the US a credible partner of Germany. Before the scandal the Washington trust 65 percent of respondents.
How German public opinion evaluates the recent scandals, in an interview with the newspaper LOOK told the expert of the Berlin Friedrich Naumann Sascha Tamm.
Sasha Tamm (photo: fnst.org)
VIEW: Mr. Tamm, what is the probability that the Germans will give US Snowden if he dares to come? Indeed, despite the quarrel, Berlin remains a close ally of Washington…
Sasha Tamm: German politicians it is very difficult decision. Bundestag Deputy Hans-Christian Strebel went to Moscow, but the results of his trip, they still did not really know. I think that Snowden won’t come to Germany if the interior Ministry does not guarantee its security. By law, it must extradite him to the US.
VIEW: what has changed the attitude of the US authorities after the new scandal? Many ordinary Germans say about this?
S. T.: They talk about it. Said this months ago, when it was revealed the wiretapping rooms of ordinary citizens. They couldn’t do. Now, when it turned out that they are listening to Merkel, the protest intensified. Although it has long been supposed to Express their outrage.
OPINION: Sociologists have noted how the scandal affected the credibility of America?
S. T.: the Newspaper “Frankfurter Allgemeine” recently asked its readers about whether it is appropriate now to agree on free trade zone with the United States or wait for the solution to all these problems. Half of the respondents said that we no longer have to go to a special trade agreement with the United States. US credibility was very high five years ago, when Obama came to power. Now the confidence level has shifted down very seriously. Incidentally, readers of this newspaper are usually trusted more than other Americans.
OPINION: Barack Obama has declared that “did not know” about the zeal of its intelligence services, that henceforth he forbids them to eavesdrop Merkel. Forgive the Chancellor, do you think? Or is it all an open secret and Merkel knew about the wire?
S. T.: She didn’t know what bugged her personal phone, I’m sure. But I’m sure other high-ranking officials knew that the Americans did in relation to the millions of ordinary Germans.
OPINION: the So-called Treaty “Five eyes” (the Agreement on electronic intelligence activities of the UK – USA – Canada – Australia – New Zealand) allows sharing of information between intelligence agencies of the five English-speaking countries, but spying inside other NATO countries prohibits. Now the German delegation arrived in Washington to ensure that and Germany was accepted into this private club. What are her chances of success?
S. T.: I Think that the Americans no longer listen to the phone Merkel. And all the other things, I think they still do. I think the German delegation will not be able to reach agreement with the United States. Of course the Americans will say that’s all very well that we are discussing the situation together. And this will all end.
The LOOK: the interior Minister of Germany Hans-Peter Friedrich had even threatened to expel the staff of the U.S. Embassy engaged in espionage. How you consider, whether it is this threat?
S. T.: This is an empty threat. The authorities just want to make it look as if ready to do something, but never go to such a step.