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People across Europe continued to express their anger on Wednesday (October 30) over claims that the U. S. National Security Agency (NSA) has been tapping phones across the continent, including that of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
"I think they definitely went too far with the chancellor but if they are spying in general, and one doesn't have anything major to hide, then I don't think it is quite so bad," one passerby in Berlin said.
European officials have been traveling to the U. S. this week after revelations of the scale of the surveillance triggered outrage and shattered European trust in Washington.
The White House did not deny reports that the National Security Agency (NSA) had monitored Merkel's phone but said no such surveillance was taking place now.
Wednesday's visit comes a day after a European Union team met the head of the NSA, army General Keith Alexander, and U. S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat who leads the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Meanwhile Spanish citizens also expressed their disapproval as Spain's public prosecutor launched a preliminary inquiry on Tuesday (October 29) into reports that U. S. intelligence has spied on million of its citizens.
Attorney General Eduardo Torres-Dulce authorized an information gathering process after El Mundo newspaper reported on Monday (October 28) that the United States had tracked more than 60 million Spanish phone calls, his office said in a statement.
"It's disgusting, excuse me for my answer, but nobody likes being listened to in their home and that's what they have done. They are friends when it's convenient, but really, it's incredible," one outraged man told Reuters Television in the capital Madrid.
The U. S. Congress is weighing new legislative proposals that could limit some of the NSA's more expansive electronic intelligence collection programs.