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Spy claims expose cracks in Merkel's coalition

A widening scandal over claims Germany helped the US spy on European targets triggered tensions in Angela Merkel’s coalition Tuesday, which analysts said could potentially prove dangerous for the “untouchable” chancellor. Pressure has mounted over reports that Germany’s BND foreign intelligence agency snooped on European firms such as EADS, which became Airbus, as well as the French presidency and EU Commission on behalf of the US National Security Agency (NSA). In the latest diplomatic fallout, Austria’s government said Tuesday it had filed a legal complaint against an unnamed party concerning “secret intelligence to the detriment of Austria”. German Economy Minister and Social Democratic Party (SPD) leader Sigmar Gabriel took the affair up a notch Monday, breaking a “taboo” by relaying a personal conversation he had had with Merkel on the issue.

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