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France and America: I spy, you spy

UK Only Article: 
standard article

Issue: 

The right to die

Fly Title: 

France and America

Rubric: 

The French are “shocked, shocked” by American spying—but not their own

Location: 

PARIS

WHEN it emerged two years ago that America’s National Security Agency (NSA) was spying electronically on European leaders, France’s Socialist president, François Hollande, called it “totally unacceptable”. He had words with the Americans and there was a minor fuss, but it soon died down.
There was a similar show of indignation on June 24th, after the revelation by WikiLeaks that from 2006 to 2012 the NSA had spied on three French presidents: Mr Hollande and his two centre-right predecessors, Nicolas Sarkozy and Jacques Chirac. After an emergency meeting of the French national defence council, the Elysée again called the practice “unacceptable”. The Americans had given “undertakings” to France in 2013 and 2014, which should be “strictly respected”. Yet this time the protests are more awkward, since France is busy …

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