US wiretapped French presidents: WikiLeaks

June 24, 2015 4:50 am
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French president Francois Hollande makes a phone call at the Elysee palace on April 29, 2014 in Paris/AFP
French president Francois Hollande makes a phone call at the Elysee palace on April 29, 2014 in Paris/AFP
PARIS, France, Jun 24 – The United States wiretapped three French presidents, including current leader Francois Hollande, documents released online by WikiLeaks showed Tuesday.

The documents – classed as “Top Secret” and first reported in partnership with French newspaper Liberation and the Mediapart website – also revealed that Hollande approved secret meetings on the consequences of a Greek exit from the eurozone as early as 2012.

The spying spanned 2006 to 2012, the documents showed.

The revelations prompted the French leader to call a defence council meeting first thing Wednesday “to evaluate the nature of the information published by the press on Tuesday evening and to draw useful conclusions”, said one of his aides.

They also come just weeks after President Barack Obama signed into law landmark legislation ending the government’s bulk telephone data dragnet, significantly reversing American policy by reining in the most controversial surveillance programme since 9/11.

Among the documents, which showed that former presidents Jacques Chirac and Nicolas Sarkozy were also spied on, are five from the US National Security Agency, including the most recent dated May 22, 2012, just days after Hollande took office.

It claims the French leader “approved holding secret meetings in Paris to discuss the eurozone crisis, particularly the consequences of a Greek exit from the eurozone”.

It also says that Hollande believed after talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel that she “had given up (on Greece) and was unwilling to budge”.

“This made Hollande very worried for Greece and the Greek people, who might react by voting for an extremist party,” according to the document.

The same file also alleges that the French leader went behind Merkel’s back to schedule meetings in Paris with members of the Social Democrats – Germany’s main opposition party then.

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