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German trust in U.S. plummets after surveillance reports: poll


18:16, July 05, 2013

BERLIN, July 5 (Xinhua) -- Less than half of the German people see the United States as a trustworthy partner in the aftermath of media reports that Washington was monitoring phone calls and Internet data connections in Germany, a fresh poll has showed.

According to the results of a phone poll conducted with 1,005 random respondents between July 1 and 3 by ARD public television, 49 percent of Germans saw the U.S. as a trustworthy partner, down from 65 percent before the disclosure of the spy claims. The survey noted that the results marked the lowest level since George W. Bush was president.

More than two thirds of the respondents said they feared that the government would be unable to protect them against the alleged telephone telecommunication and Internet message tapping by U.S. intelligence services, while 78 percent expected Chancellor Angela Merkel to take a determined stance against the online surveillance.

A recent report by German magazine Der Spiegel, citing classified documents disclosed by fugitive former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, said Washington was monitoring phone calls and Internet data connections in Germany as well as spying on the headquarters of the European Union and its offices in Washington and the United Nations in New York.

The report has since sparked widespread outcry in privacy-sensitive Germany. The German government on Monday said that Berlin felt surprised and "alienated" by media reports of cold-war-style U.S. spying on European nations. "We are no longer in the Cold War," a government spokesman said.

U.S. President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed on Wednesday to hold a high-level bilateral meeting over the broad U.S. surveillance programs.

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