Spanish spy chief to address Parliament on spying


Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, right, listens to a lawmaker as Spain's Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Sainz de Santamaria talks on her cell phone at the Spanish parliament, in Madrid, Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013. Speaking in parliament, Rajoy said Spain was taking the surveillance allegations seriously and that the head of Spain's intelligence services will address Parliament over allegations that Spain was a target for surveillance by the U.S. National Security Agency. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

MADRID (AP) — Spain's intelligence chief will address parliament over allegations the country was a target for surveillance by the U.S. National Security Agency, the prime minister said Wednesday.

Mariano Rajoy spoke a day after NSA director Gen. Keith Alexander told a U.S. House Intelligence panel that millions of telephone records of European citizens were swept up as part of a NATO program to protect the alliance. Alexander said, however, the U.S. didn't collect the European records alone.

Up to now, Spain has insisted it is unaware of any U.S. spying.

Speaking in parliament, Rajoy didn't refer to Alexander's comments, but said Spain was taking the allegations of U.S. spying seriously. He said such activity, if confirmed, is "inappropriate and unacceptable between partners."

Rajoy said National Intelligence Center chief Felix Sanz Roldan would address the issue in a closed-door session of parliament's official secrets commission. He didn't say when.

Opposition lawmakers urged Rajoy to press the U.S. for explanations and to clarify if Spain had helped the NSA and whether he had any part in it.

Spain's El Mundo newspaper published two new documents Wednesday based on leaks by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden which the paper said showed that Spain and other countries cooperated with the NSA in the spying.

Meanwhile, two senior German officials were in Washington on Wednesday, part of Berlin's efforts to probe allegations that Chancellor Angela Merkel's cellphone was monitored by U.S. intelligence.

The heads of Germany's foreign and domestic intelligence agencies will also visit Washington "in the coming days," said Merkel spokesman Steffen Seibert. He did not say who the Germans were meeting with on the spying issue.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said his government wasn't surprised by revelations of alleged monitoring by the U.S. of the leaders of allied countries.

"I am persuaded that everyone knew everything or suspected everything," Lavrov said during a visit to Greece.


Derek Gatopoulos in Athens, Greece, contributed to this report.
Associated Press
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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