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Paris and Berlin axe Cold War-era surveillance pact

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Paris and Berlin axe Cold War-era surveillance pact
Berlin has annulled its surveillance pact with Paris. File photo: Dano/Flickr

The impact of the US online spying affair continues to have knock-on effects in Europe. Berlin announced on Tuesday that it had cancelled a Cold War surveillance pact with France after coming to a "mutual agreement" with Paris.

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Germany said on Tuesday it had cancelled a 1960s surveillance pact with France after annulling similar accords with the US and Britain in the wake of revelations about US online spying.

The 1969 accord was axed "in mutual agreement", the foreign ministry said, four days after the Washington and London accords were axed amid the debate on data privacy protection sparked by the snooping scandal.

The so-called administrative agreements dating from the Cold War-era reportedly allowed the former Allies to request surveillance data from Germany's intelligence services when it related to the safety of their troops stationed in Germany.

Germans are especially sensitive to the issue of state surveillance with memories of the methods employed by the Nazis and East Germany's communist regime still very much alive.

Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said that, with the last annulment, Germany was "continuing our course in light of the recent debate about privacy protection in a consistent way".

Britain, the United States and France stationed troops in West Germany after World War II and it was an important base for the NATO allies during the Cold War.

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