A new survey shows that Germans’ trust in Washington has plummeted with only one-third viewing their longtime ally as a reliable partner, amid recent reports showing the US extensively spied on the country.
The study, commissioned by the public broadcaster, ARD, and the daily Die Welt, showed that only 35 percent of Germans consider the US government trustworthy.
In addition, the poll showed that more Germans are viewing US intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden as a hero.
The US spying programs were uncovered through leaked documents by Snowden, who was a former US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor.
Germans became outraged when reports revealed that the NSA had targeted Merkel’s cellphone and that Washington used the US Embassy in Berlin as a base of operations for surveillance.
Merkel has demanded that the US sign a “no-spying” agreement with Germany and France by the end of the year.
However if a deal would be made, 92 percent of Germans expect the US would break such an agreement and continue secret intelligence operations in Germany, according to the poll.
On October 26, a report published by German weekly Der Spiegel revealed that Merkel’s cellphone had been listed by the NSA Special Collection Service (SCS) since 2002, and that her cellphone number was still listed in June 2013.
Snowden, who was granted political asylum in Russia on August 1, has been charged in the United States with espionage and theft of government property after leaking documents that revealed the NSA and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have been secretly gathering information of people in both the US and around the world.
The NSA scandal took even broader dimensions when Snowden revealed information about its espionage activities targeting friendly countries.
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