Senior European officials expressed concern Sunday at reports that U.S. intelligence agents bugged EU offices on both sides of the Atlantic, with some leftist lawmakers calling for concrete sanctions against Washington.
The president of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, said he was "deeply worried and shocked about the allegations of U.S. authorities spying on EU offices" made in a report published Sunday by German news weekly Der Spiegel.
Schulz said if true the surveillance would have a “severe impact” on EU-US relations, while other Europeans compared the allegations to Cold War behavior. Former members of the East German Stasi have expressed awe at the NSA’s surveillance programs.
Just two weeks ago the EU’s justice commissioner said she was satisfied the NSA’s collection of telephone metadata was mainly an American issue after meeting with U.S. officials, who assured her only potential terrorists were being targeted in NSA surveillance operations.
Officials at the EU have known about the U.S.’s ability to spy on Europeans since at least 2011, but didn’t want to hurt relations with America.