Spain 'satisfied' with Obama over spy scandal

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AFP/The Local - [email protected]
Spain 'satisfied' with Obama over spy scandal

Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said on Monday after meeting with US President Barack Obama that Spain had received a "satisfactory" explanation of reports that American spies bugged European leaders' phones.


Last year, leaked documents from the US National Security Agency revealed that Washington had targeted the communications of some of its closest allies in Europe.

Rajoy told reporters that the Spanish government and the United States had conducted "full consultations" on the issue and Washington's explanations were "satisfactory."

"As long as there are no new developments, I have nothing to add to what I have said about this previously," Rajoy added.

SEE ALSO: "I can't speak to Obama yet": The Local's guide to Spanish politicians' foreign language skills.

According to leaks from former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, the NSA has listened in on the communications of dozens of foreign leaders.

At the height of the crisis last year Spain summoned the US ambassador to Madrid following reports that American intelligence had gathered data on 60 million phone calls in Spain, prompting criticism from Rajoy.

In October 2013 NSA boss Kieth Alexander said the phone call data in question had been provided by foreign security services, and related chiefly to information gathered outside of Europe.

The head of Spain's National Intelligence Centre (CNI), Félix Sanz also confirmed that Spain had shared details of millions of telephone calls with the US but denied this information related to Spanish citizens.

He said the data only referred to concrete cases and the number of calls has been exaggerated as up to 40 pieces of metadata were collected on each call.

The CNI boss did not categorically deny, however, that the US had spied on the Spanish prime minister. 

Yesterday meeting's was the first between Rajoy and Obama, coming a little over two years since Rajoy came into office — a delay some in the Spanish media saw as a snub.

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