Germany's BND secret services spied on French and other European companies and officials for the US's National Security Agency (NSA), German newspapers have reported, sparking a scandal in Berlin but no official reaction in Paris, reports RFI.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel's office has known since 2008 that the BND was carrying out economic espionage for the NSA but failed to stop it because of its anti-terror cooperation with the US, Bildnewspaper revealed on Monday.
The tabloid claims to have seen two documents sent to the chancellery in 2008 and 2010, referring to NSA attempts to tap phones and intercept emails connected with the EADS and Eurocopter companies, which are now part of the Airbus group.
The top official at the chancellery at the time was Thomas de Maizière, who is now Germany's interior minister.
Germany has set up a parliamentary commission to look into the scandal, which broke last Thursday when Der Spiegel weekly revealed that the BND tapping European companies' and individuals' phones and emails on order for the NSA for several years.
One member of the commission told Bild that the German authorities turned a blind eye to the practise so as not to harm cooperation with the NSA in the fight against "terrorism".
Germany's Green and Left parties have demanded the sacking of the secret service boss and even a trial for treason.