1 in 3 feel deceived by Merkel over spying row

One in three Germans feels deceived by chancellor Angela Merkel regarding a row over spying on Germans, but almost half are not very interested in the whole affair, a poll showed.

Allegations that Germany’s foreign intelligence agency, BND, helped the US National Security Agency (NSA) spy on European companies and officials have caused rifts in Merkel’s coalition with the Social Democrats (SPD) and are showing signs of hurting Merkel.

Last week, media reports alleged Merkel’s aides had lied to the public before the 2013 election about the prospects of a no-spy deal with the United States. No such deal has never materialised.

This week’s Forsa poll showed that 52% of voters think the spying row is either important or very important while 48% of voters are hardly interested in it.

It also showed more than half of German voters would still back Merkel in a direct vote against her SPD rival, Sigmar Gabriel, although that number slipped 1 percentage point to 56%.

The coalition partners have toned down their rhetoric after a week of sniping within Merkel’s ‘grand coalition’, when Gabriel tried to put any blame at the chancellor’s door and Bavarian conservatives dismissed his comments as unacceptable.

The poll put Merkel’s conservatives down one point at 40%, their lowest level so far this year, but the SPD were also down one point at 22%.


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