Spain intelligence chief to address Parliament

CIARAN GILES
Associated Press

MADRID (AP) — 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, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said Wednesday.

Rajoy made the announcement a day after NSA Gen. Keith Alexander told a U.S. told a House Intelligence panel that millions of telephone records of European citizens were swept up as part of a NATO program to protect the alliance's members but that that the U.S. did not collect the European records alone.

Meanwhile, two senior German officials are in Washington for talks as part of Berlin's effort to get to the bottom of allegations that Chancellor Angela Merkel's cellphone was monitored by U.S. intelligence.

Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said Wednesday that her foreign policy adviser, Christoph Heusgen, and government intelligence coordinator Guenter Heiss were in the U.S. capital for talks but wouldn't say whom they would meet. Seibert said that the heads of Germany's foreign and domestic intelligence agencies will also visit Washington "in the coming days" but didn't give more details.

Speaking in Parliament, Rajoy said Spain was taking the surveillance allegations seriously. He reiterated that if confirmed, such activity is "inappropriate and unacceptable between partners and friends."

Up to now the Spanish government insists it is unaware of any U.S. spying.

El Mundo newspaper on Monday published a document it claimed showed the NSA tracked more than 60 million phone calls in Spain in one month alone.