US bugged phone of former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder: Paper
BERLIN (REUTERS) - The US National Security Agency (NSA) bugged the phone of former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder from at least 2002, a German newspaper reported on Wednesday, compounding the most serious row between between the allies in a decade.
The reason for the snooping was Social Democrat (SPD) Schroeder's opposition to the US-led invasion of Iraq under then President George W. Bush, the Sueddeutsche daily said, citing US government sources and NSA insiders.
"We had reason to believe that (Schroeder) was not contributing to the success of the alliance," the newspaper quoted one person with direct knowledge of the monitoring as saying.
Reports last year about mass surveillance in Germany, in particular of Dr Merkel's mobile phone, shocked Germans and caused Berlin to push, so far in vain, for a 'no-spy' deal with Washington.