At the conclusion of the last meetings of the Bundestag before the summer break, spokespersons for all parliamentary groups voiced harsh criticism of the NSA’s spying practices, in particular the spying on individual members of the special investigation committee on the NSA. The German government was also criticized for its uncooperative attitude, shown by an excessive redacting of documents made available to the committee.
The decision to have the United States withdraw its CIA station chief at the Embassy was welcomed, but spokespersons for the SPD, Linke, and Greens insisted that this can only be a first step, calling on the CDU to finally also support the recommendation to the government that the talks on the TTIP be suspended, for as long as the Obama Administration keeps stonewalling on the spy issue. The internal security committee of the Bundestag has a special session in Berlin, today, as well.
Chancellor Angela Merkel and CDU Bundestag group chairman Volker Kauder had reiterated over the past weekend that the TTIP allegedly was in the “genuine interest” of Germany’s industry, that it should not be suspended but talks be intensified to have such an agreement.
Merkel and several cabinet ministers (Finance, Defense, Foreign Affairs) have also claimed that the substance of bilateral relations with the U.S.A. remained untouched by the NSA affair. Justice Minister Heiko Maas dissents, insisting that heavier artillery be deployed against the Obama Administration—such as suspending the TTIP talks.