GERMANY: Secret service alleged to have spied on leftist MPs

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According to the weekly Welt am Sonntag, Minister of interior Bundesinnenminister Hans-Peter Friedrich (CSU) ordered the secret service (Verfassungsschutz) to spy on 25 (of a total of 76) members of parliament of the leftist party Die Linke. Orders were also given for four members of the European Parliament to be spied on. The minister refused to confirm this disclosure, but has stated to the same magazine that Die Linke would be the subject of observation so long as they "comprised extremists."

The leader of the Linke Fraction, Gregor Gysi, protested vehemently against the revelations. He said "Die Linke does not form a threat to the security of the state." He has received the support of the Social Democrats and the Greens, both of whom have demanded the cessation of surveillance activities.

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