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NSA SPYING

INTERNET

‘European internet’ plan to prevent US spying

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will discuss the concept of creating a European Internet when she meets French President François Hollande this week. Her proposal is aimed at preventing US intelligence agencies from being able to intercept data.

'European internet' plan to prevent US spying
Hollande will discuss the European Internet idea with Angela Merkel this week. Photo: AFP

Hollande and Merkel will discuss the proposal of creating a European internet when the pair hold talks in Paris on Wednesday.

Germany has been rocked by the revelations of former security contractor Edward Snowden, who revealed a mass spying programme by the US National Security Agency (NSA).

Merkel herself was infuriated when it emerged that NSA agents had also tapped her personal mobile phone.

By creating a “European internet” all servers and cables would be based in Europe, meaning they would be subject to European data protection laws.

The chancellor added she would talk to Hollande about “European providers which offer security for our citizens so that you don’t have to send emails and other information across the Atlantic, but can build up communications networks with Europe too”.

Sources at the Elysee have told Reuters that Paris would be willing to back her initiative.

Both Germany and the US have pledged to repair ties in the wake of the NSA spying scandal, but hopes of a “no-spy” treaty between the two countries look further than ever from being realized.

Der Spiegel magazine reported in its Monday edition that Germany is planning to ramp up its counterintelligence operations to deal with US spies on German soil. 

France on the other hand seems to have buried the hatchet with the US over similar allegations that NSA captured millions of French phone calls and emails.

When Hollande met US President Barack Obama during his official state visit last week he said that “mutual trust had been restored” between the two countries.

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ANGELA MERKEL

Merkel and Macron to meet for dinner in Berlin on Friday

French President Emmanuel Macron will have dinner with Angela Merkel in Berlin on Friday - the first time this year the German chancellor has received a foreign leader in person, her spokeswoman said.

Merkel and Macron to meet for dinner in Berlin on Friday
Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron at the G7 summit. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/Pool Getty Images/AP | Leon Neal

The working dinner at the chancellery will focus on “European policy issues”, government spokeswoman Martina Fietz said on Monday.

Talks will focus on the “coordination between Germany and France” ahead of an EU summit in Brussels on June 24-25, she said.

The dinner meeting comes after G7 leaders gathered in England at the weekend for their first in-person summit in almost two years.

VIDEO: Watch Merkel’s funniest moments 

World leaders were also meeting in Brussels on Monday for the first NATO summit with US President Joe Biden.

Subjects on the agenda included how to deal with China’s rise and confronting an emboldened Russia, ahead of a meeting between Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva on Wednesday.

At the EU summit, leaders are due to discuss the Covid-19 pandemic, economic recovery, migration and external relations, including with Turkey and Russia.

At an online Franco-German council of ministers in May, Macron paid tribute to the German chancellor, who is bowing out of politics this year after 16 years in power.

“This last council allows me to say how much the Franco-German relationship owes to your commitment, your willingness to take action, sometimes your patience with us, and your ability to listen,” Macron said.

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