Media reports alleging that the US spied on top politicians in Europe with the help of Danish intelligence are “extremely serious” if proven, the French government said on Monday.
“It is extremely serious, we need to see if our partners in the EU, the Danes, have committed errors or faults in their cooperation with American services,” Europe Minister Clement Beaune told France Info radio, adding it would also be very serious if it turned out Washington had been spying on EU leaders.
“Between allies, there must be trust, a minimal cooperation, so these potential facts are serious,” said the minister.
He said the facts must first “be verified” and then “conclusions drawn in terms of cooperation.”
Danish and European media, including France’s Le Monde, reported on Sunday that the US spied on top politicians in Europe, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, from 2012 to 2014 with the help of Danish intelligence.
The US National Security Agency (NSA) had taken advantage of a surveillance collaboration with Denmark’s military intelligence unit FE to do so, it said.
“This is not something that should be played down,” Beaune said, while acknowledging that similar allegations had emerged back in 2013 that the United States had spied on Merkel.
“We are not in some kind of cuddly world so this kind of behavior can unfortunately happen,” he said.